The NJ Supreme Court tackled the tort of “intrusion upon seclusion” in this case where a janitor installed hidden cameras in various women’s bathrooms and locker rooms in a building he serviced. Sixty women, who worked in the building, filed suit for damages. And about half of those plaintiffs were able to identify themselves in the footage, while the remaining plaintiffs were not able to identify themselves. The trial judge granted summary judgment in favor of the defendant and against that latter cohort of plaintiffs who were unable to identify themselves in the footage.
The Supreme Court found that a plaintiff can establish an intrusion on privacy in a spying-device scenario where the “intrusion would be highly offensive to a reasonable person.” A plaintiff need not present direct evidence that she was recorded. But rather she can carry her burden in an intrusion on seclusion charge based on reasonable inference drawn from the evidence.