Suing for Invasion of Privacy in Florida
Florida recognizes invasion of privacy as a civil cause of action. This means that you are entitled to seek compensation for injuries caused by certain intrusions into your private affairs.
Revealing Private Health Information
For example, an Orange County resident identified as John Doe recently filed a lawsuit against Aetna, a health insurance company. John Doe (the plaintiff’s gender isn’t being revealed) is HIV-positive, and Aetna allegedly revealed that information when it mailed a letter about Doe’s pharmacy benefits. The envelope had a large window that showed Doe’s name, address and HIV prescription.
Doe had kept his/her HIV status private for more than a decade, but the large window allegedly revealed that secret to postal workers, friends, neighbors, household members, and the public at large. Doe is suing Aetna for negligence and invasion of privacy, claiming $15,000 in damages for anxiety, depression and insomnia, among other injuries.
Proving Your Privacy Invasion Claim
Florida courts generally recognize that people have a right to be left alone. For example, you have a right to solitude (especially in your home, and to lesser extents in your car and office) and you have the right to keep private facts from becoming public. The law is a little more complicated than this (which is why you should talk to an attorney), but you might have a viable cause of action if you prove that someone intruded into a space where you had a reasonable expectation of privacy.
In the Aetna case, John Doe can argue there was a reasonable expectation that the insurance company would keep Doe’s medical information private. If the envelope window was so large that it revealed the HIV prescription, then the company clearly didn’t meet Doe’s reasonable expectation.
Suing for Negligence
John Doe also alleges that Aetna acted negligently. To prove negligence, the plaintiff must first establish that:
- The defendant owed the plaintiff a duty of care
- The defendant breached that duty
- The plaintiff suffered an injury, and
- The defendant’s breach caused the plaintiff’s injury.
Florida is a comparative fault state, which means that any damages awarded are reduced by the plaintiff’s own percentage of fault. So if Aetna can somehow prove that John Doe is partly responsible for his or her injuries, then any damages awarded would be reduced accordingly.
Also keep in mind that there is a statutory deadline for filing personal injury lawsuits in Florida. You only have four years from the date of the injury to file your lawsuit. This deadline is called the statute of limitations.
Contact Us Today
Contact an Orlando personal injury attorney at The Pendas Law Firm today for a free consultation if you were injured by an invasion of privacy. We will examine the facts of your case and help determine if you have a viable personal injury claim. You might be entitled to compensation for your injuries.
The Pendas Law Firm also represents clients in the Fort Lauderdale, Jacksonville, Miami, Fort Myers, Tampa, West Palm Beach, Daytona Beach and Bradenton areas.