Now this could make for an interesting tort lawsuit. Detroit police officers were surprised this week to get an email from a Commander Dwayne Love that listed the names of female officers and their bra sizes and weight. The email dealt with bullet proof vests and the information was mistakenly included. The question is whether such information could be used as a basis for a tort action.
Since there is more variation among female officers to fit a vest, they were asked to supply their height, weight and bra cup sizes. Assistant Chief James White said that an email was sent out on picking up the vests but “[o]n the third page, the females were listed. Unfortunately and embarrassingly, the cup sizes of the females were listed on that third page, and it was really just a clerical error.”
The email was from Love and was then forwarded to supervisors who forwarded it to officers.
Could weight, height and bra cup sizes constitute an invasion of privacy or the public disclosure of embarrassing private facts?
Under the Second Restatement, citizens may sue for violations of the intrusion upon seclusion:
652B Intrusion Upon Seclusion
One who intentionally intrudes, physically or otherwise, upon the solitude or seclusion of another or his private affairs or concerns, is subject to liability to the other for invasion of his privacy, if the intrusion would be highly offensive to a reasonable person.
Yet, these dimensions can be observed in public though not with accuracy. The injury is tied to the specificity and the official nature of the information. Can such official confirmation take something that can be deduced in public and elevate it to the level of an actionable tort?
What do you think?