PETA and PAWS
Berosini is a world renowned animal trainer.
PETA and PAWS are animal rights organizations.
Gesmundo did the actual filming.
Alleged that they defamed him and invaded his privacy.
Gesmundo filmed Berosini hitting his trained orangutans.
Gesmundo was to put an end to the beatings that he heard backstage.
(This is where the filming was done).
He observed the beatings through holes in the stage curtain.
The video was not libelous because what it showed was either true or
constitutionally protected opinion.
Jury Two Tort Awards
Intrusion on Seclusion Award - $250,000.
Appropriation of name or likeness.
$250K Jeanne Roush.
Whether Gesmundo's inquiring video camera gives cause for concern
over privacy and gives rise to a tort action against Gesmundo
for invasion of Berosini's privacy?
To recover for the tort
of intrusion, a plaintiff must prove the following elements:
an intentional intrusion (physical or otherwise);
on the solitude or seclusion of another; AND
that would be highly offensive to a reasonable person.
Interest in seclusion
or solitude which the law will protect, a plaintiff must show that he or
an actual expectation of seclusion or solitude, AND
expectation was objectively reasonable.
Extend To Which Seclusion can be protected
Severely limited by the protection that must often be
accorded to the freedom of action and
expression of those who threaten that seclusion of others.
Right to be left alone
It is not invasion of privacy to photograph a person in a public place.
Berosini intrusion upon seclusion claim
Gesmundo's having "trespassed onto the Stardust Hotel with a video
camera" and having "unlawfully filmed Plaintiff Berosini disciplining
the orangutans without the Plaintiffs knowledge or consent."
It is of no relevance to the intrusion
tort that Gesmundo trespassed onto the Stardust Hotel,
It is of no moment that
Gesmundo might have "unlawfully" filmed Berosini,
UNLESS at the same time he was
violating a justifiable expectation of privacy on Berosini's
of Privacy Arg
He was to be left alone with his animals and trainers for a period of
time immediately before going on stage to gain the animals attention.
He did not want to have problem on stage.
He had nothing to hide and would discipline in the same way
Having testified that he would have done the same thing if people were
standing there, he can hardly complain about a camera "standing there.
If Berosini's expectation was, as he says it is, freedom from
distracting intrusion and interference with his animals and his pre-act
disciplinary procedures, then Gesmundo's video "filming" did not invade
the scope of this expectation.
Gesmundo did not intrude upon Berosini's expected seclusion.
camera was highly offense to a reasonable person? No.
Question of first impression in this state.
The question of what kinds of conduct
will be regarded as a 'highly
offensive' intrusion is largely a
matter of social conventions and expectations.
Defining Highly Offensive Conduct
The degree of intrusion,
the context, conduct and circumstances surrounding the intrusion as
well as the intruder's motives and objectives,
the setting into which he intrudes, and
the expectations of those whose privacy is invaded."
The Degree of Intrusion
The video tape was non-intrusive
The video tape did not cause an interference
circumstances surrounding the intrusion (Analysis)
The filming did not take place in a private place like a restroom.
It took place backstage where Gesmundo was every night.
He did not ask for complete seclusion from prying eyes and ears.
Berosini suffered as a result of the videotaping, it was not because of
any tortious intrusion, it was because of subsequent events that, if
remediable, relate to other kinds of tort actions than the intrusion
upon seclusion tort.