As Wal-Mart faces lawsuits over its failure to stop a lethal holiday stampede, it is also facing a bizarre case in its Greensburg, Pennsylvania store. A 29-year-old man has been questioned over his videotaping of other men going to the toilet.
The man was caught over the weekend at a Wal-Mart. The police reported: “We received a report of an unusual incident where a male was in a bathroom stall, looked up and observed someone holding a recording device over the stall wall.” The took the video camera from the 5 feet, 11 inches tall suspect (whose name is being withheld).
The charges here could be interesting. There is a criminal charge for invasion of privacy and unlawful use of a computer (he later put pictures on his computer). On the civil side, the courts have held that such acts can constitute violations of intrusion upon seclusion even if filmed in public places. In the case of Nader v. General Motors Corp. Ralph Nader was able to show that detective following him closely and looking over his shoulder at banks could be sued under intrusion upon seclusion. There could also be publication of embarassing private facts depending on what is shown and how it was distributed.
These bathroom cases can be difficult due to the lower expectation of privacy for individuals, particularly in open areas rather than stalls. The recent case of the urine drinker is an example of how difficult it is to deal with creepy individuals with fetishes.
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