Torts: Privacy: False Light

False Light = The widespread dissemination of a material misrepresentation about Π that would be objectionable to an average person. (Δ is going all over town spreading misinformation about the Π.)
  • “widespread dissemination” – the requirement is more demanding than the publication element of defamation. In defamation, publication is de minimus. For false light, you have to tell a lot of people.
  • “material misrepresentation” – includes defamatory or non-defamatory information.
    • EX: Dave tells everyone that Pete is embezzling $ from the company for which he works, when in fact, Pete is doing no such thing. This could be false light and defamation. In the defamation claim, you get economic damages. In the false light claim you get emotional or dignitary harm damages, too.
    • EX: Δ could misrepresent Π’s beliefs. Dave goes over town and tells everyone that Pete is devout Roman Catholic (this does not tend to hurt reputation). When in fact, Pete is devout Jewish person.
    • Exam trick: this is not an intentional tort; even a good faith belief in the accuracy of the information will not insulate Δ from liability.