In the digital age, it has become increasingly easy for people to invade the privacy of others. As technology advances, things like cameras and other recording devices are becoming smaller and easier to hide. What was once a James Bond movie gadget, can now be delivered to anyone with 2-day shipping for a few dollars from Amazon.
Recently, one such device was found at a Milwaukee area BMW dealership. According to reports, on April 6th, a small camera was found hidden in the towel dispenser in the women’s room at Umansky BMW in Glendale. The camera was found after one of the dealership’s employees noticed a light coming from the dispenser.
The police were called to the dealership and the camera was removed. After investigation, the police found that the video camera had several videos of women changing clothing and using the bathroom. The video also, reportedly showed one of the dealership’s employees, a manager, placing the camera in the bathroom and adjusting it. The manager was arrested and fired. It is not currently known how long the camera was in the restroom or how many victims were recorded.
In cases like these, the victims of such a terrible invasion of privacy have several possible civil claims. Employees could have workers’ compensation claims, and both employees and members of the public who were exposed to these actions potentially have claims for invasion of privacy and negligent infliction of emotional distress.
Workers’ compensation claims for employees go through the employer’s work comp insurance, but these cases often still need the guidance of an experienced workers’ compensation attorney to help navigate the complex insurance system in place.
Wisconsin also recognizes a right of privacy and those who have had their privacy unreasonably invaded are potentially entitled to compensation. According to Wisconsin statutes, an invasion of privacy is an “intrusion upon the privacy of another of a nature highly offensive to a reasonable person, in a place that a reasonable person would consider private . . .” such as a bathroom or changing room.
Negligent infliction of emotional distress is another civil cause of action recognized in Wisconsin. Negligent infliction of emotional distress has three elements that must be proved for the injured person to recover as a plaintiff in Wisconsin. First, someone has to have engaged in negligent conduct. Second, that person must have caused the emotional distress. And third, the emotional distress that was caused must be severe. When determining the severity of the emotional distress, it must be more than a reasonable person could be expected to endure.
Both invasion of privacy and negligent infliction of emotional distress are complicated cases to settle or bring to trial, as are workers’ compensation claims. If you or someone you know has been the victim of the Umasky BMW manager’s recordings or any similar invasions of privacy, contact a skilled, dedicated, and proven attorney to discuss your options.
Disclaimer: This article is for informational purposes only. It is not legal advice and should not be used as legal advice. It is not medical advice and should not be used as medical advice. The legal statutes, laws, and procedures contained in this article may not be current and may have been revised since the time of publication or contain errors. An attorney can provide legal guidance only after reviewing the details of your individual case.