Y.G. v. Jewish Hosp. of St. Louis

795 S.W.2d 488

 

RULE:

The tort of invasion of privacy by public disclosure of a private matter requires that the fact disclosed must be a "private matter" in which the public has no legitimate concern. The determination of this fact is a matter for the court to decide and once the court has determined the matter is private, and there is substantial evidence of unreasonable interference with the private matter, the case is for the jury. 

FACTS:

Plaintiffs engaged with defendant because they wanted to use in-vitro fertilization in order to have a child. The hospital disseminated information about the procedure without the couples' permission. Plaintiffs sued, on the grounds that their privacy had been invaded by defendant. The lower court dismissed the plaintiffs' lawsuit for failure to state a claim. Plaintiffs appealed from the dismissal.

ISSUE:

Whether plaintiffs' personal affairs was either newsworthy or a matter of public opinion.

ANSWER:

No, plaintiffs' personal affairs were neither newsworthy or a matter of public opinion.

CONCLUSION:

In reversing the lower court's ruling, the Court found that because the plaintiffs' medical condition was neither newsworthy nor a matter of public opinion, that the defendant had breached the plaintiffs' right to privacy when they spread information about the plaintiffs' in-vitro procedure.

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