Green v. Chicago Tribune Company

286 Ill. App. 3d 1, 221 Ill. Dec. 342, 675 N.E.2d 249 (1996)

 

RULE:

When ruling on motion to dismiss pursuant to 735 Ill. Comp. Stat. 5/2-615, the trial court must accept as true all well-pleaded facts and all reasonable inferences that can be drawn therefrom. The trial court should not dismiss a complaint under section 2-615 unless it clearly appears no set of facts could be proved under the pleadings entitling plaintiff to relief. In making such a determination, the trial court must interpret the allegations of the complaint in the light most favorable to plaintiff.

FACTS:

On January 1, 1993, the newspaper published an article about the son's murder, which included statements the mother made to her deceased son in his private hospital room, along with an unauthorized photograph taken after the death. On January 3, 1993, the newspaper published another article containing an unauthorized photograph of the son while undergoing medical treatment. The court held that the mother had stated a cause of action for the public disclosure of private facts arising out of the article on January 1, 1993, because it contained private statements made by her. She did not state a cause of action as to the publication of the photograph on January 3, 1993, because no mention was made of her. 

ISSUE:

Did the trial court properly grant the Tribune's section 2-615 motion to dismiss plaintiff's claim for invasion of privacy?

ANSWER:

Yes.

CONCLUSION:

When ruling on a section 2-615 motion to dismiss, the trial court must accept as true all well-pleaded facts and all reasonable inferences that can be drawn therefrom.  The trial court should not dismiss a complaint under section 2-615 unless it clearly appears no set of facts could be proved under the pleadings entitling plaintiff to relief.  making such a determination, the trial court must interpret the allegations of the complaint in the light most favorable to plaintiff. Accordingly, we also analyze plaintiff's complaint, although only allegations, in the light most favorable to plaintiff.

Thus, the court reversed that portion of the judgment dismissing the claims for invasion of privacy and intentional infliction of emotional distress arising out of the article and photograph published on January 1, 1993, and remanded the cause for further proceedings. The court affirmed the remainder of the judgment.

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