Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Court reviews whether photographs of a corpse at an automobile accident scene amounts to an invasion of privacy.

DEBBIE HARRIS, individually and as next of kin to her son JEREMY WOOTEN; CHRISTOPHER HARRIS, individually and as next of kin to his brother, JEREMY WOOTEN; CHASITY BROWN, individually and as next of kin to her brother JEREMY WOOTEN v. DON HORTON and ROBERTSON COUNTY (Tenn. Ct. App. December 15, 2009)

A young man died in a motor vehicle accident on a public highway. The defendant county's emergency medical services unit, including the defendant paramedic, responded to the accident. Photographs were taken of the accident scene, including photographs of the young man's body. Three months later, the defendant paramedic gave a presentation to a high school driver's education class. To aid his presentation, he circulated among the students photo albums containing photographs of automobile accident scenes. The albums included accident scene photographs of the young man's corpse. The young man's family then filed a lawsuit against the paramedic and the county, asserting claims for, inter alia, interference with and mishandling of human remains, invasion of privacy based on intrusion upon seclusion, invasion of privacy for publicizing private facts, and infliction of emotional distress. The trial court dismissed the claim for interference with human remains for failure to state a claim and granted summary judgment to the paramedic and the county on the other claims. The family now appeals. We affirm.

The full text of this opinion may be found at:

No comments:

Post a Comment