Connecticut

Connecticut recognizes the four privacy torts.

Intrusion: A reporter and photographer who attended a private “mock unwedding” to celebrate the recent divorces of two individuals and published photographs of the celebration might have intruded upon the participants’ privacy, depending on whether the news media were invited to the party. Rafferty v. Hartford Courant, 416 A.2d 1215 (Conn. 1980).

Surreptitiously photographing a prison inmate during his parole hearing, and subsequently broadcasting the footage, was not intrusive because the prisoner became a public figure by virtue of his crime and his public trial. Travers v. Paton, 261 F.Supp. 110 (D. Conn. 1966).

Private Facts: A man who was arrested for drunken driving appeared on police videotape punching himself in an apparent effort to create evidence for a police brutality claim. The videotape was broadcast during an episode of the television news magazine Hard Copy. The broadcast did not amount to a publication of private facts because the story was newsworthy and of legitimate public concern, and because the man had no reasonable expectation of privacy during his arrest and subsequent booking. Cowras v. Hard Copy, 56 F.Supp.2d 207 (D. Conn. 1999).

False Light: The individual arrested for drunk driving (above) also could not support his false light claim, which in Connecticut requires a showing of “actual malice” knowledge of falsity or reckless disregard for the truth because the broadcaster’s failure to interview the man or confirm that a police brutality complaint was being filed did not amount to reckless disregard for the truth. Cowras v. Hard Copy, 56 F.Supp.2d 207 (D. Conn. 1999).

Misappropriation: The man (above) also could not bring a misappropriation claim because the videotape was used to illustrate a non-commercial, newsworthy broadcast. The fact that the broadcasting company operates for profit did not, by itself, make the videotape use commercial. Cowras v. Hard Copy, 56 F.Supp.2d 207 (D. Conn. 1999).

When a person whose photograph is used in an advertisement without his permission files suit and asks for punitive damages, he must prove malice reckless indifference to the rights of others or intentional and wanton violation of those rights to recover damages. Venturi v. Savitt, 468 A.2d 933 (Conn. 1983).

Misappropriation can occur when a photo is used, without the subject’s permission, for advertising purposes. Korn v. Rennison, 156 A.2d 476 (Conn. Super. Ct. 1959).