Nader v. Gen. Motors Corp.

57 Misc. 2d 301, 292 N.Y.S.2d 514 (Sup. Ct. 1968)

 

RULE:

The right of privacy stands on high ground, cognate to the values and concerns protected by constitutional guarantees. 

FACTS:


Plaintiff individual filed suit against the defendant car company alleging various causes of action including invasion of privacy. In his first and second causes of action, plaintiff alleges that defendant General Motors invaded his right of privacy by investigating his private life and committing other offensive acts. For the purposes of this motion, it is conceded that General Motors, through its agents, made threatening telephone calls to plaintiff, tapped his telephone, attempted to entice him with women, "shadowed" him in various places and caused him to be investigated by interviewing numerous of his acquaintances who could provide defendant with information about him. It is alleged that all of this was done to silence plaintiff as a critic of defendant General Motors and its products. The car company filed a motion to dismiss three out of the four causes of action because they alleged the same course of conduct which comprised the first cause of action. The court denied the car company's motion to dismiss two causes of action.

ISSUE:

Should plaintiff's second cause of action for violation of its privacy be dismissed?

ANSWER:

No.

CONCLUSION:

The court recognized a cause of action for invasion of privacy by intrusion.  Under the circumstances, the court is constrained to allow the second cause of action to stand on constitutional grounds.

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