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Chapter 18


This chapter covers several torts that have little to do with each other:

  • Invasion of privacy:  The tort of “invasion of privacy” is actually a cluster of four different, but related, torts.
    • Misappropriation of identity:  “Misappropriation of identity” occurs where P’s name or likeness has been used by D for D’s financial benefit, without P’s consent.
    • Intrusion on solitude:  “Intrusion on solitude” occurs where D invades P’s private space in a manner which would be highly offensive to a reasonable person in P’s position.
    • Publicity of private life:  “Publicity of private life” or “public disclosure” occurs where D publicly discloses a non-public detail of P’s private life, where the effect would be highly offensive to a reasonable person in P’s position.
    • False light:  “False light” occurs where D publishes false statements about P which, although not defamatory, would be highly offensive to a reasonable person in P’s position.
  • Misuse of legal procedure:  Three related tort actions protect P’s interest in not being subjected to unwarranted judicial proceedings:
    • Malicious prosecution:  The tort of “malicious prosecution” protects P’s interest in not having wrongfully instigated a criminal proceeding against him.
    • Wrongful institution of civil proceedings:  The tort of “wrongful institution of civil proceedings” is similar to “malicious prosecution,” except that the original proceedings are civil rather than criminal.
    • Abuse of process:  “Abuse of process” occurs where a person involved in criminal or civil proceedings uses various litigation devices (e.g., subpoenas) for improper purposes.
  • “Business torts”:  There are three related torts that protect business interests:
    • Injurious falsehood:  The action for “injurious falsehood” protects P against certain false statements made against his business, product or property (e.g., D makes false statements disparaging P’s goods or business).
    • Interference with contract:  The tort of “interference with contract” protects P’s interest in having others perform existing contracts which they have with her. The claim is against one who induces another to breach a contract with P.
    • Interference with prospective advantage:  If due to D’s interference, P loses the benefits of prospective, potential contracts (as opposed to existing contracts), P can sue for “interference with prospective advantage.”

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