SW Legal studies in Business

Video with No Audio Not Illegal Interception of Office Communication
Description

Doctors who worked at a clinic sued the owner of the clinic for installing hidden video cameras in their offices. Appeals court held that while a statute created a cause of action for improper interception of communication, since there was no audio, only video, there was no basis for suit.

Topic Torts
Key Words

Video; Hidden Cameras

C A S E   S U M M A R Y
Facts

Dr. Minotty founded the Florida Eye Institute (FEI). Some doctors at FEI sued, contending illegal interception of confidential communication at EFI. Hidden video cameras in the building, including in doctorsí offices, were installed by Minotty. He had access to the video but no audio of the doctors in their offices and elsewhere in the building. The doctors contended the cameras were an illegal interception of communications. The jury awarded plaintiffs $1,000 damages plus $2.5 million in punitive damages. Minotty appealed.

Decision

Reversed. The statute regarding civil actions for the interception and disclosure of wire, oral, or electronic communications did not allow for civil actions for attempted interception. Thus, Minotty did not violate the statute by placing hidden cameras to record activities of other doctors as there were no audio recordings. No communications were recorded.

Citation Minotty v. Baudo, ---So.3d--- (2010 WL 2882460, Ct. App., Fla., 2010)

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