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MacDonald v. Clinger

84 A.D.2d 482, 446 N.Y.S.2d 801 (1982)

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MacDonald v. Clinger

New York Supreme Court, Appellate Division

84 A.D.2d 482, 446 N.Y.S.2d 801 (1982)

Facts

MacDonald (plaintiff) received extensive psychiatric treatment from Dr. Clinger (defendant) on two separate occasions. During treatment, MacDonald revealed intimate details about himself, which Dr. Clinger revealed to MacDonald’s wife without his consent. Following the revelations, MacDonald’s marriage deteriorated. MacDonald lost his job, began having financial difficulties, sought further psychiatric treatment, and sued Dr. Clinger for the wrongful disclosure. MacDonald’s suit set forth three causes of action: breach of implied contract; breach of confidence; and breach of privacy. Dr. Clinger filed a motion to dismiss the suit, alleging that breach of confidence was the only sustainable action, although not in his case, because the disclosures made to MacDonald’s wife were justified. The trial court only dismissed the breach of privacy action, and Dr. Clinger appealed.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Denman, J.)

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