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Nader v. General Motors Corp.

Court of Appeals of New York
255 N.E.2d 765 (N.Y. 1970)


Facts

Nader (plaintiff) is an author and lecturer on automotive safety who sharply criticized General Motors Corp. (GM) (defendant) for years over the safety and design of its products. Nader planned to publish a book detailing his criticisms. GM learned of the imminent publication of the book, and planned a campaign against him to suppress his criticism and prevent his disclosure of information about GM’s products. As part of this campaign, Nader alleged GM questioned his friends, relatives and acquaintances about highly personal and unflattering matters, kept him under surveillance in public places for an unreasonable amount of time, cause him to be trapped by women into engaging in sexual intercourse, made threatening and harassing phone calls to him, tapped his telephone and eavesdropped, and conducted a “continuing” and harassing investigation of him. Nader brought suit against GM for the tort of invasion of privacy. The trial court granted GM’s motion to dismiss on all but the first two counts of Nader’s complaint involving alleged invasion of privacy. GM appealed.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Fuld, C.J.)

Concurrence (Breitel, J.)

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