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Gruesome death photos are at the forefront of an Internet privacy battle

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  • Gruesome death photos are at the forefront of an Internet privacy battle

    A car crash victim's father is suing the CHP over the wide dissemination of pictures of his daughter's body.

    Three weeks after his 18-year-old daughter sped away in his Porsche and swerved to her death in Lake Forest, Christos Catsouras understood why he had not been allowed to see her body.

    Photographs of the Halloween 2006 crash, taken and leaked by the California Highway Patrol, were proliferating on the Internet. The crash had left his daughter unrecognizable.

    Catsouras said he found 35 websites — and soon hundreds more — that showcased the macabre photographs, some with headlines that mocked his daughter. When he took them to the attention of CHP officials and pleaded for help, he said, they told him there was nothing they could do. "They said if we wanted to file a complaint, we could file a complaint."

    The result: a lawsuit that, even though it has yet to go to trial, has reshaped the boundaries of privacy law in the Internet age. LA Times full article.
    The people involved in leaking the photos at the CHP should ALL be fired immediately and without hesitation.

    Here's what happened to the girl:

    Nikki Catsouras' family described her as a shy, free-spirited photography student at Saddleback College who loved to work with special education children. She had surgery to remove a brain tumor when she was 8, the family said, and in mid-2006, she was confined to a psychiatric ward for three days after using cocaine, which she claimed a boyfriend had given her.

    Two months later, on Oct. 30, her father said, he confiscated her car keys after she confessed to having used the drug again. Without permission, she took her father's Porsche, a car she'd never driven before, the next day. Her family suspected it might have been an attempt to avoid a doctor's appointment and another potential hospitalization.

    Accelerating to more than 100 mph along the 241 toll road, she clipped another car near Alton Parkway and veered into an unmanned toll booth. She was decapitated and pinned in the wreckage. Her father, who had placed a 911 call after she sped away, was prevented from seeing the crash site.
    A sad and unfortunate accident involving a young girl who was having problems. But then, of course, the abominable internet vultures spread the photos around causing the family more undue grief. And believe me, the photos are absolutely horrible, and are definitely TV-MA or worse.

    Within days the Internet was swarming with grisly photos, some of them describing her as "Porsche girl" and portraying her as a spoiled Orange County girl who got what she deserved. Her father received taunting, anonymous e-mails with the photos.
    In an apparent damage control maneuver the CHP says this:

    Jaime Coffee, a highway patrol spokesperson, said the CHP has adopted a "modified policy in regard to handling photographs" and had sent out cease-and-desist notices in an effort to remove the Catsouras photos from the Internet. Coffee declined to be more specific or to say what websites notices were sent to.
    Right, lets issue a "modified policy", because it seems to be a bad idea to circulate photos of dead decapitated children around the internet, especially when the families are still grieving their loss. You think?

    The CHP also made this statement:

    "We feel for the tragic loss of their daughter," said Coffee, the CHP spokesperson. She said the CHP investigated and took "corrective measures" for the dispatchers' actions. She did not offer specifics.
    If they really felt for the "tragic loss of their daughter," they would never have leaked the photos. And, "corrective measures" is just another phrase for slap on the wrist.

    The lawyer for one of the grossly insensitive dispatchers said this:

    Alexander Wheeler, a lawyer for Thomas O'Donnell, one of the dispatchers accused of disseminating the photographs, said his client was a 20-year veteran of the agency and the son of a 37-year veteran CHP officer. Wheeler said his client e-mailed the crash photographs from his work computer to his home computer

    "What I understand is, these [photographs] were going around the department," Wheeler said. "If liability is who e-mailed them out, there might be hundreds of defendants in this case."
    Seriously, that attorney can spare me the 20-year-veteran sympathy monologue. I don't care if he worked there for 20 years or 20 days, he should still be fired in my opinion.

    I'm also in total agreement with the 4th District Court of Appeals decision to reverse the Orange County Superior Court judges original poor decision.

    In 2008, an Orange County Superior Court judge threw out the lawsuit against the CHP and two civilian dispatchers accused of disseminating the photos, on the grounds that the agency had not breached any legal duty to the family. The law, at the time, did not recognize the right of family members to sue for invasion of privacy involving photos of the dead.

    That changed in January, when the state's 4th District Court of Appeal in Santa Ana reversed the decision. For the first time in California, the court established that surviving family members have a right to sue for invasion of privacy in such cases.

    "We rely upon the CHP to protect and serve the public," the court said. "It is antithetical to that expectation for the CHP to inflict harm upon us by making the ravaged remains of our loved ones the subjects of Internet sensationalism."
    |TG-X| mp40x



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  • #2
    Re: Gruesome death photos are at the forefront of an Internet privacy battle

    Some jackasses around my school got a hold of these photos, and then started either sending them via phone over the school, or started putting them as desktop wallpapers on the computers at the school. One of them tried to show me the picture on his phone, i already knew who it was, so i promptly grabbed his phone, yanked the battery and SD card holding the picture and went straight to the office. I crushed the SD card in my hand on the way there.

    Although i honestly don't care what happens to my body after i die, this is just inhumane. She reminds me of some family members, who got wrapped up with the wrong people. They either were killed, incarcerated, or joined the military to straighten out. Almost all of them were good people, i bet she was too.

    As for the man/men who leaked these, i think that they should be fired, and then have their name put in the news. They would have a hard time finding work after that.
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    • #3
      Re: Gruesome death photos are at the forefront of an Internet privacy battle

      I've got mixed feelings.

      On the one hand, these photos were taken in a public place. There was no expectation of privacy. If a newspaper or any other individual asked for copies of the photos from the CHP, the CHP would have to release them (assuming the investigation is complete).

      On the other hand, the CHP didn't need to hasten the release of these photos. If they didn't have a policy to address such a situation, I'm sure they do now. And unless they did have such a policy at the time, then there's no way that anyone should be fired for "leaking" public photos.

      I know a lot of people say we should "respect the dead", but let's not take it to the extreme. This girl put herself in that situation. It's unfortunate that some jerks used the photos to cruelly taunt the family of this girl, but the CHP certainly had nothing to do with that.
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      • #4
        Re: Gruesome death photos are at the forefront of an Internet privacy battle

        Originally posted by CingularDuality View Post
        On the one hand, these photos were taken in a public place. There was no expectation of privacy. If a newspaper or any other individual asked for copies of the photos from the CHP, the CHP would have to release them (assuming the investigation is complete).
        Well, the appeals court disagrees with that argument and has allowed the lawsuit filed by the family to continue, reversing a lower courts decision. So, there is an expectation of privacy, at least for now.

        An appeals court has given an Orange County family the go-ahead to sue the CHP over graphic accident-scene photos its officers leaked to the public.

        The opinion by the 4th District Court of Appeal in Santa Ana reverses a lower court's dismissal of a family's lawsuit against the CHP over the improper release of images of 18-year-old Nikki Catsouras' death in a car accident on a Lake Forest toll road on Halloween 2006. LA Times.
        Originally posted by CingularDuality View Post
        On the other hand, the CHP didn't need to hasten the release of these photos. If they didn't have a policy to address such a situation, I'm sure they do now. And unless they did have such a policy at the time, then there's no way that anyone should be fired for "leaking" public photos.
        In this case it was two CHP dispatchers who took it upon themselves to leak the photos, apparently outside of even existing CHP policy at the time.

        After an internal investigation, the California Highway Patrol identified two dispatchers, Thomas O'Donnell and Aaron Reich as being responsible for the leaked images. Citing "pending litigation," the highway patrol has yet to comment on the case, but it sent a letter to the family admitting the mistake.

        "After a thorough and complete investigation we have determined that a CHP employee did violate departmental policy in this matter. Appropriate action has taken place to preclude a similar occurrence in the future," the letter, signed by Orange County Communications Center Lt. Cmdr. Paul Depaola, states. ABC News.
        Originally posted by CingularDuality View Post
        This girl put herself in that situation.
        Is this how you justify this misconduct involving the CHP? Blame the dead girl. It's reminiscent of the idea that a rape victim who was wearing a miniskirt somehow had it coming. It's a ridiculous concept.

        Originally posted by CingularDuality View Post
        It's unfortunate that some jerks used the photos to cruelly taunt the family of this girl, but the CHP certainly had nothing to do with that.
        Your just wrong about that, the CHP dispatchers emailed the photos to friends and family, their actions clearly caused the proliferation of the photos on the internet.

        An investigation had revealed that the images, taken as a routine part of a fatal accident response, had been leaked by two CHP dispatchers: Thomas O'Donnell, 39, and Aaron Reich, 30. O'Donnell, a 19-year CHP veteran, had been suspended for 25 days without pay. Reich quit soon after—for unrelated reasons, says his lawyer. Both men declined requests for comment, but Jon Schlueter, Reich's attorney, says his client sent the images to relatives and friends to warn them of the dangers of the road. "It was a cautionary tale," Schlueter says. "Any young person that sees these photos and is goaded into driving more cautiously or less recklessly—that's a public service." Newsweek.
        The attorney for one of the dispatchers would have you believe that his client leaked the photos in some attempt to educate the public about the dangers of driving recklessly. This, of course, is garbage, and it was probably more like a morbid fixation with the photos.

        From the 4th District Court of Appeals decision, wich I'm in total agreement with.

        "We rely upon the CHP to protect and serve the public," the ruling read. "It is antithetical to that expectation for the CHP to inflict harm upon us by making the ravaged remains of our loved ones the subjects of Internet sensationalism. It is important to prevent future harm to other families by encouraging the CHP to establish and enforce policies to preclude its officers from engaging in such acts ever again." LA Times.
        |TG-X| mp40x



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        • #5
          Re: Gruesome death photos are at the forefront of an Internet privacy battle

          I agree that the photos were taken in a public place so there should be no expectation of privacy. However, we trust our police forces to exercise discretion and good judgement while enforcing the law or performing investigations, this was a breach of that trust. If a civilian had taken the pictures and leaked them, we could chalk it up to "just another jackass". But they were leaked by those that should have better judgement.
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          • #6
            Re: Gruesome death photos are at the forefront of an Internet privacy battle

            Originally posted by avenging llama View Post
            I agree that the photos were taken in a public place so there should be no expectation of privacy. However, we trust our police forces to exercise discretion and good judgement while enforcing the law or performing investigations, this was a breach of that trust. If a civilian had taken the pictures and leaked them, we could chalk it up to "just another jackass". But they were leaked by those that should have better judgement.
            I agree that the individuals that leaked them were wrong to do so the way they did. But it must be remembered that our law requires police agencies to make such photographs public upon request under the Freedom of Information Act. Our police agencies work in public places and are serving the public at large. The CHP was out there serving the public, they weren't out there serving a grieving family. Yes, there's a balance required between decent discretion and making public information available, but the bottom line is that they can't keep accident scene photos confidential forever.
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            • #7
              Re: Gruesome death photos are at the forefront of an Internet privacy battle

              Originally posted by mp40x View Post
              Originally Posted by CingularDuality
              On the one hand, these photos were taken in a public place. There was no expectation of privacy. If a newspaper or any other individual asked for copies of the photos from the CHP, the CHP would have to release them (assuming the investigation is complete).
              Well, the appeals court disagrees with that argument and has allowed the lawsuit filed by the family to continue, reversing a lower courts decision. So, there is an expectation of privacy, at least for now.
              The appeals court said that they could sue on behalf of a dead person, not that being in public had anything to do with the lawsuit. There is a possible expectation of privacy, the case will determine whether public places matter or more likely, if there is an expectation of privacy based on the police department's policy on disseminating pictures of accidents and not the lack of expectation because it was in a public place to start with.
              |TG-6th|Snooggums

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              • #8
                Re: Gruesome death photos are at the forefront of an Internet privacy battle

                The public can honestly take pictures of whatever they want. If you are out there, you are fare game.
                |TG-X|Turkish

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                • #9
                  Re: Gruesome death photos are at the forefront of an Internet privacy battle

                  Originally posted by snooggums View Post
                  The appeals court said that they could sue on behalf of a dead person
                  Well, actually no. The appellate court is citing common law privacy for the family members.

                  California law clearly provides that surviving family members have no right of privacy in the context of written media discussing, or pictorial media portraying, the life of a decedent. Any cause of action for invasion of privacy in that context belongs to the decedent and expires along with him or her. (Flynn v. Higham (1983) 149

                  Cal.App.3d 677 (Flynn).) The publication of death images is another matter, however. How can a decedent be injured in his or her privacy by the publication of death images, which only come into being once the decedent has passed on? The dissemination of death images can only affect the living. As cases from other jurisdictions make plain, family members have a common law privacy right in the death images of a decedent, subject to certain limitations. The court erred in sustaining the demurrers of O’Donnell and Reich as to the invasion of privacy cause of action.
                  Originally posted by snooggums View Post
                  not that being in public had anything to do with the lawsuit.
                  Right, that has nothing to do with this lawsuit.

                  Originally posted by snooggums View Post
                  if there is an expectation of privacy based on the police department's policy on disseminating pictures of accidents
                  Right, and the appellate court also citing this.

                  We also disagree that plaintiffs have no cause of action for negligence, supporting emotional distress damages. Applying the time tested factors enunciated in Rowland v. Christian (1968) 69 Cal.2d 108 (Rowland) (the Rowland factors), we conclude that the CHP and its officers owed plaintiffs a duty of care not to place decedent’s death images on the Internet for the purposes of vulgar spectacle.
                  And, agreeing with intentional infliction of emotional distress.

                  In addition, the court erred in sustaining the demurrers as to the cause of action for intentional infliction of emotional distress. In their second amended complaint, plaintiffs alleged both that O’Donnell and Reich had acted with the intent to cause them emotional distress and that they had acted with reckless disregard of the probability of causing them emotional distress. The first of these allegations is sufficient to withstand a demurrer.
                  The appellate court also taking issue with not only the defendants but also the CHP, seeming to argue the department being equally liable.

                  We note that we do not have at issue here the freedom of the press. We address only the duties of CHP officers. The CHP here undertook to perform an investigation and to collect evidence. It was not in furtherance of the investigation, the preservation of evidence, or any other law enforcement purpose, to deliberately make a mutilated corpse the subject of lurid gossip. We determine the existence of duty on a case-by-case basis. Under the extraordinary facts of this case, O’Donnell and Reich owed plaintiffs a duty not to exploit CHP-acquired evidence in such a manner as to place them at foreseeable risk of grave emotional distress.

                  The trial court erred in granting judgment on the pleadings in favor of the CHP, inasmuch as plaintiffs have stated viable causes of action against O’Donnell and Reich and the CHP may be vicariously liable under Government Code section 815.2, subdivision (a).
                  We'll just have to see where the trial ends up, but I'm agreeing with the majority opinion on the appellate court.
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                  • #10
                    Re: Gruesome death photos are at the forefront of an Internet privacy battle

                    Originally posted by CingularDuality View Post
                    I agree that the individuals that leaked them were wrong to do so the way they did. But it must be remembered that our law requires police agencies to make such photographs public upon request under the Freedom of Information Act. Our police agencies work in public places and are serving the public at large. The CHP was out there serving the public, they weren't out there serving a grieving family. Yes, there's a balance required between decent discretion and making public information available, but the bottom line is that they can't keep accident scene photos confidential forever.
                    There is a huge difference though between making photographs public and intentional distribution to the public. If they had just been "made available" I would not have as much of a problem with the fact that the pics are widespread. My issue is with the intentional distribution.
                    |TG-Irr|Avengingllama
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                    • #11
                      Re: Gruesome death photos are at the forefront of an Internet privacy battle

                      Originally posted by mp40x View Post
                      Well, actually no. The appellate court is citing common law privacy for the family members.
                      There is a distinction between suing for personal distress of the survivors and the distress of the deceased, but they are still suing on behalf of the dead person's privacy since that is what was causing the distress. The Appellate court did not render a verdict, therefore they did not choose sides and are simply allowing the initial case to go forward at the lower level because other cases have found that family have the right to privacy in the death images of the deceased with certain limitations. This case going forward will determine if this case fits that precedent, that decision was not made by the appellate court.
                      |TG-6th|Snooggums

                      Just because everyone does something does not mean that it is right to do.

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                      • #12
                        Re: Gruesome death photos are at the forefront of an Internet privacy battle

                        Originally posted by snooggums View Post
                        There is a distinction between suing for personal distress of the survivors and the distress of the deceased, but they are still suing on behalf of the dead person's privacy since that is what was causing the distress.
                        Well, I guess what your saying is this. Although, you did not make your point as clearly as this article.

                        On January 29, 2010, the California Court of Appeal issued an opinion holding that the family of a decedent could bring an action for invasion of privacy for the publication on the Internet of gruesome photos of their deceased daughter who was decapitated in an auto accident. Catsouras v. Dept. of the California Highway Patrol. Fn1. This decision does not mean that family members now have the right to bring a claim for the invasion of the privacy of a deceased relative. Rather it is merely an application of an established legal principle that the relatives of a person whose privacy was breached may bring suit, if the breach also invaded their own, separate privacy interests. Source.
                        That's a pretty good article with a summary about the case if your interested.

                        Originally posted by snooggums View Post
                        The Appellate court did not render a verdict, therefore they did not choose sides and are simply allowing the initial case to go forward at the lower level because other cases have found that family have the right to privacy in the death images of the deceased with certain limitations.
                        Well, that's all pretty obvious. Are you under the impression that I have no concept of what an appellate court is or what they do?

                        Originally posted by snooggums View Post
                        This case going forward will determine if this case fits that precedent, that decision was not made by the appellate court.
                        Once again, you state the obvious. I'm well aware of how this works and not in need of a lesson about the appellate court process. It's possible, I guess, that you did not understand what I was saying in these two statements.

                        Originally posted by mp40x View Post
                        Well, the appeals court disagrees with that argument and has allowed the lawsuit filed by the family to continue, reversing a lower courts decision. So, there is an expectation of privacy, at least for now.
                        Originally posted by mp40x View Post
                        We'll just have to see where the trial ends up, but I'm agreeing with the majority opinion on the appellate court.
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                        • #13
                          Re: Gruesome death photos are at the forefront of an Internet privacy battle

                          Those two statements are worded to mean that the appellate court made a decision on the case's validity and not just the case's eligibility to go to trial. Do these two edits also fit what you are trying to say?

                          The appeals court has allowed the lawsuit filed by the family to continue, based on the amended motion, reversing a lower courts decision to not allow the case to proceed. So, there is a possibility that the case could address an expectation of privacy based on past precedence regarding the privacy of the families of the deceased.
                          We'll just have to see where the trial ends up, but I'm agreeing with the majority opinion on the appellate court that the case could address the issues relating to the family being affected by the photos being released in this manner.
                          Also, in this case they were suing on behalf of the deceased's privacy, not their own. The rest of your last example and the one following, important parts in blue:

                          The Catsouras case fits into this exception. The facts of the case are tragic. On October 31, 2006, 18 year old Nicole Catsouras was decapitated in an automobile accident. CHP officers arrived at the scene and cordoned off the area. They also took multiple photos of the decapitated corpse. Two CHP officers allegedly emailed copies of these "graphic and horrific" photos to members of the public who were not involved in the investigation. Once released, the photos went viral and soon appeared on more than 2.500 websites around the world.

                          A number of Internet miscreants then decided to use the occasion to torture the decedent's relatives. For example, her father, Christos Catsouras, received several emails containing the photographs, include one entitled "Woo Hoo Daddy" that said "Hey Daddy I'm still alive." These and other emails caused the Catsouras's severe emotional and mental distress. As a result, the Catsouras's sued the CHP on invasion of privacy and related tort theories.

                          The Court of Appeal decision began by noting the strong legal tradition prohibiting a relative from maintaining an invasion of privacy action on behalf of a decedent. However, the Court also noted that some courts have found that relatives have a privacy interest in the "death images" of a decedent.

                          For example, in National Archives v. Favish, a case concerning a FOIA request for the death scene photographs of Vince Foster, the U.S. Supreme Court stated that "the right to personal privacy is not confined, to the "right to control information about oneself."" Here, Foster's family sought to prevent release of the photos, not "for fear that the pictures may reveal private information about Foster to the detriment of his own posthumous reputation or some other interest personal to him." Rather, "[t]hey [sought] to be shielded by the exemption to secure their own refuge from a sensation-seeking culture for their own peace of mind and tranquility, not for the sake of the deceased." Fn6.
                          So the issues presented in past cases revolve around how the family is affected by the release. Seeing the pictures being released is not the basis for the past cases, and this one may very well fail on the privacy issue if the family brought the publicity on themselves. The appellate court saying that their case could follow this argument (and most likely fail) about the family's privacy is not saying there is an expectation of privacy regarding the photos themselves, and I don't think you are agreeing with the court because I think you are failing to make that distinction.
                          Last edited by snooggums; 05-17-2010, 01:16 PM.
                          |TG-6th|Snooggums

                          Just because everyone does something does not mean that it is right to do.

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                          • #14
                            Re: Gruesome death photos are at the forefront of an Internet privacy battle

                            Originally posted by snooggums View Post
                            Those two statements are worded to mean that the appellate court made a decision on the case's validity and not just the case's eligibility to go to trial. Do these two edits also fit what you are trying to say?
                            You know exactly what I meant when I made those two statements and your just playing word lawyer now. I can agree with an appellate court decision, that does not mean I was insinuating anything like you imply.

                            Originally posted by snooggums View Post
                            Also, in this case they are suing on behalf of the deceased's privacy, not their own.
                            Here's what the family sued for:

                            Plaintiffs asserted eight causes of action: (1) violation of section 1983 (all defendants); (2) negligence (O’Donnell and Reich); (3) negligent infliction of emotional distress (O’Donnell and Reich); (4) intentional infliction of emotional distress (O’Donnell and Reich); (5) invasion of privacy (O’Donnell and Reich); (6) negligent supervision and retention (CHP and O’Donnell); (7) tortious act or omission of public employees (Gov. Code, §§*820, subd. (a), 820.8) (O’Donnell and Reich); and (8) vicarious liability of public entity (Gov. Code, §*815.2, subd. (a)) (CHP).
                            The appellate court addressed only some of those charges wich were challenged by the plaintiffs after being dismissed.

                            According to plaintiffs, the trial court erred in applying those ordinary principles of tort law, as well as certain federal and state statutory provisions. They maintain that they stated causes of action for: (1) invasion of privacy; (2) intentional infliction of emotional distress; (3) negligence; (4) vicarious liability of the CHP, pursuant to Government Code section 815.2, subdivision (a); and (4) violation of section 1983. We address these contentions in turn.

                            On the issue of privacy the family stated:

                            C. Invasion of Privacy:
                            Plaintiffs first argue that the court erred in holding they did not state a cause of action for invasion of privacy. They claim O’Donnell and Reich invaded their privacy by disclosing private facts.
                            The family is claiming a violation of their privacy, not of their daughter.

                            Originally posted by snooggums View Post
                            So the issues presented in past cases revolve around how the family is affected by the release. Seeing the pictures being released is not the basis for the past cases, and this one may very well fail on the privacy issue if the family brought the publicity on themselves. The appellate court saying that their case could follow this argument (and most likely fail) about the family's privacy is not saying there is an expectation of privacy regarding the photos themselves, and I don't think you are agreeing with the court because I think you are failing to make that distinction.
                            The case from the article you quoted was not used as precedent in this case, the trial court used other cases to argue against the families claim of invasion of privacy.

                            The elements of a claim of invasion of privacy based on the public disclosure of private facts are as follows: “‘(1) public disclosure (2) of a private fact (3) which would be offensive and objectionable to the reasonable person and (4) which is not of legitimate public concern.’ [Citations.]” (Shulman v. Group W Productions, Inc. (1998) 18 Cal.4th 200, 214.) The trial court relied on two cases in holding that the plaintiffs had not stated a cause of action — Miller v. National Broadcasting Co. (1986) 187 Cal.App.3d 1463 (Miller) and Flynn, supra, 149 Cal.App.3d 677.
                            The appellate court went on to argue against those cases and then reached this conclusion.

                            In the matter before us, however, there is no indication that any issue of public interest or freedom of the press was involved. “‘In determining what is a matter of legitimate public interest, account must be taken of the customs and conventions of the community; and in the last analysis what is proper becomes a matter of the community mores. The line is to be drawn when the publicity ceases to be the giving of information to which the public is entitled, and becomes a morbid and sensational prying into private lives for its own sake, with which a reasonable member of the public, with decent standards, would say that he has no concern.’” (Virgil v. Time, Inc. (9th. Cir. 1975) 527 F.2d 1122, 1129.) Put another way, morbid and sensational eavesdropping or gossip “serves no legitimate public interest and is not deserving of protection. [Citations.]” (Diaz v. Oakland Tribune, Inc. (1983) 139 Cal.App.3d 118, 126.)
                            Here, the picture painted by the second amended complaint is one of pure morbidity and sensationalism without legitimate public interest or law enforcement purpose. The trial court erred in sustaining the demurrers of O’Donnell and Reich as to the cause of action for invasion of privacy.
                            Last edited by mp40x; 05-17-2010, 02:06 PM.
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                            • #15
                              Re: Gruesome death photos are at the forefront of an Internet privacy battle

                              I've read the Court of Appeals decision (thank you for the link!), and I again think you are not understanding how the process works. I also edited your first quote to 'were' 30 minutes before your response to clarify that the original case was based on the deceased's privacy, amended later.

                              The original case was presented with the Plaintiff claiming that the pictures of the deceased being released invaded the Plaintiff's privacy, which in effect was claiming privacy on behalf of the deceased (since the photos were of an adult daughter). When that was challenged through a demurrer the Plaintiff's staked their case on their eligibility to take action and that was determined to not be valid based on the precedence presented in that case.

                              The Appellate court is reviewing the amended filings and focusing on cases not presented in the earlier trial and not part of clearly established precedence so the court is in reality setting a new precedence for eligibility in future cases with this ruling by allowing it to proceed.
                              |TG-6th|Snooggums

                              Just because everyone does something does not mean that it is right to do.

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