A DISCUSSION OF LAW AND JOURNALISM

Tag: infliction of emotional distress

Reality TV Invades the Hospital Room

NY Med

By Asher Hawkins

These days, some folks are only too happy to have the most intimate moments of their personal lives documented by a reality-television crew.

Others are old-fashioned enough that they don’t relish the thought that highly personal moments would be broadcast – and On-Demanded, Netflix’d, and Hulu’d – for millions to see.

The family of Mark Chanko, a patient at New York-Presbyterian Hospital whose final moments were captured on camera and then used in a scene of ABC’s “NY Med” belongs in this second camp, and has sued  the network, the hospital, and several doctors believed to have been involved in treating the man prior to his death.

The New York Post and the New York Daily News reported that Mr. Chanko’s widow was shocked when she tuned in to the show and saw the scene featuring her late husband; though his face was blurred, she recognized his voice immediately. The media didn’t analyze the strength of the subsequent lawsuit. We will.

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Maid Looking To “Clean Up” in Lawsuit

the-help-book-by-kathryn-stockett

 

By Dawn Mikulastik

 

For most people, being the inspiration for a character in a best selling novel would be a dream come true.  But 60-year-old southern housekeeper Ablene Cooper isn’t most people, and for her, it’s a nightmare.

In 2009, Kathryn Stockett’s best selling novel The Help chronicled the lives of Southern black maids and the white families who employed them in the 1960s.  But for Ms. Cooper, who works for Ms. Stockett’s brother as housekeeper and nanny, the character Aibileen Clark hits a little too close to home – and now she’s suing.

Last month, The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal reported on the lawsuit that was filed on February 9 in Hinds County Circuit Court — and gave no indication of how this case will pan out. The complaint alleges “unpermitted” appropriation of Ms. Cooper’s identity, holding her to the public eye in a false light, and intentional and negligent infliction of emotional distress. LASIS investigates and asks: is Ms. Cooper likely to win on these claims?

Probably not. (more…)

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