Rhode Island

Rhode Island recognizes the four torts by statute. R.I. Gen. Laws §§ 9-1-28, 9-1-28.1.

Intrusion: A television reporter placed a phone call to a man who had taken his wife hostage, but had just released her, without informing the police or the man’s family about the call. The man agreed to speak to the reporter and to the taping of the conversation, and he committed suicide shortly after excerpts from the telephone interview aired. The man’s widow and estate could not support a claim for intrusion because the telephone interview revealed nothing that would not have been revealed irrespective of the interview. 688 A.2d 805 (R.I. 1996).

False Light: The publication in a sexually explicit magazine of a photograph of elementary school girls under a caption “Little Amazons Attack Boys” was not a false light invasion because the photo illustrated a wire service article about fighting among elementary school students. The court said the photo did not imply that the girls had consented to publication or had endorsed the magazines editorial view. , 840 F.2d 1012 (1st Cir. 1988).

Misappropriation:No cause of action existed for the initial, newsworthy publication of a picture of a sailor kissing a nurse in Times Squae on V-J day. Subsequent publications and limited-edition sales had a commercial purpose apart from the dissemination of news, however, and the man who claimed to be the sailor stated a cause of action for misappropriation. , 678 F. Supp. 967 (D.R.I. 1988).