Florida

Intrusion: A photographer who accompanied a fire marshal into a home destroyed by fire did not intrude because consent to enter was implied based upon common custom and practice for the news media. Florida Publishing Co. v. Fletcher, 340 So.2d 914 (Fla. 1976), cert denied, 431 U.S. 930 (1977).

Television reporters were not authorized to accompany police executing a warrant in a private school. Green Valley School Inc. v. Cowles Florida Broadcasting Inc., 327 So.2d 810 (Fla. Dist. Ct. App. 1976).

Private Facts: Broadcasting footage of the remains of an abducted child’s skull did not support a private facts action by the child’s family because the discovery of the remains was a matter of public interest. An “outrage” tort claim survived, however, because a broadcast close-up was gruesome and sensational, and the family was not forewarned. Armstrong v. H&C Communications Inc., 575 So.2d 280 (Fla. Dist. Ct. App. 1991).

Unless a prosecutor makes an effort to exclude the news media at trial, publication of the name and photograph of a rape victim who testifies at a public trial does not invade the victim’s privacy. Doe v. Sarasota-Bradenton Television Co., 436 So.2d 328 (Fla. Dist. Ct. App. 1983).

A photograph of a half-nude woman escaping imprisonment by her armed, estranged husband was newsworthy, and thus its dissemination was not an invasion by publication of private facts, especially in light of the fact that more revealing photographs were not published. Cape Publications v. Bridges, 431 So.2d 988 (Fla. Dist. Ct. App.), cert. denied, 464 U.S. 893 (1983).

Broadcasting film of a state employee at a hotel bar while his office was being evacuated during a bomb threat did not support a private facts claim because the way public employees spent that time was a matter of public interest, and the employee was in a public place. Stafford v. Hayes, 327 So.2d 871 (Fla. Dist. Ct. App. 1976).

Public interest in a sexual assault at Disney World precluded an invasion of privacy suit by the victim, who alleged a television station broke a promise to conceal her identity. Doe v. H & C Communications Inc., 21 Med. L. Rptr. 1639 (Fla. Cir. Ct. 1993).

A television station’s broadcast of film of the arrest of a man clad only in his underwear was protected because the film did not publicize any private facts concerning the man and because his arrest was a matter of legitimate public interest. Spradley v. Sutton, 9 Med. L. Rptr. 1481 (Fla. Cir. Ct. 1982), appeal dismissed, 430 So.2d 459 (Fla. Dist. Ct. App. 1983).

A photograph of a woman and her daughter at a courthouse during a paternity suit appearance was not private because it was taken in a public place. Also, details of the paternity suit were not private because they were disclosed in public records. Even if the photograph was originally private, it could have become public after it was purchased from a commercial photographer. Heath v. Playboy Enters., Inc., 732 F.Supp. 1145 (S.D. Fla. 1990).

False Light:A model who agreed to let his photographs be used in advertisements for a company that purchased discount life insurance policies sued for unauthorized use of the photographs and invasion of privacy when the photographs appeared in magazines targeted at homosexual males, contending the photographs falsely portrayed him as a homosexual man with AIDS. The court allowed his claim to go forward. Facchina v. Mutual Benefits Corp., 735 So.2d 499 (Fla.App. 4 Dist. 1999).

Publication of a photograph of a man making an obscene gesture did not constitute false light invasion because the caption indicated that the photo had been retouched. Byrd v. Hustler, 433 So.2d 593 (Fla. Dist. Ct. App. 1983), review denied, 443 So.2d 979 (Fla. 1984).

The two essential elements for recovery under a false light theory in Florida are that the false light must be highly offensive to the reasonable person and must be accompanied by knowledge of, or reckless disregard for, the falsity of the publicized matter and the false light in which the subject would be placed. Harris v. District Bd. Of Trustees of Polk Community College, 9 F.Supp.2d 1319 (M.D. Fla. 1998).

Misappropriation: A swimsuit model’s consent to the general use of her photograph barred a misappropriation claim for use of her photograph in advertisements for wet T-shirt and oil wrestling contests. Rosko v. Times Publishing Co. Inc., 19 Med. L. Rptr. 1766 (Fla. Cir. Ct. 1991).