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PETA v. Bobby Berosini, Ltd.

895 P.2d 1269 (1995)

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PETA v. Bobby Berosini, Ltd.

Nevada Supreme Court

895 P.2d 1269 (1995)

Facts

Bobby Berosini (plaintiff) a world-renowned animal trainer, and his company, Bobby Berosini, Ltd. (plaintiff) (collectively Berosini), performed animal acts with orangutans. In 1989 Berosini’s animal act was the principal act in a show at the Stardust Hotel. Before his act, Berosini requested that he be left alone with animals in a staging area blocked off from the rest of backstage with a curtain. Berosini wished to be alone to prevent any interference with his animals or his final preparations of them before he went on stage. Berosini did not express any concern that anyone else might see or hear him. Indeed, during these times, Ottavio Gesmundo (defendant), a dancer in the show, and other performers were able to hear thumping sounds and Berosini’s animals crying in distress. Through thin spots in the curtain, Gesmundo and other performers saw Berosini disciplining his animals. Although Berosini believed that his treatment of his animals was necessary and proper, Gesmundo wanted to stop the treatment. Accordingly, Gesmundo placed a video recorder in the staging area without Berosini’s knowledge and recorded video of Berosini disciplining his animals. Gesmundo gave the video to People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) (defendant) and Performing Animal Welfare Society (PAWS) (defendant), who published the video. Berosini filed suit against Gesmundo, PETA, and PAWS, among others, asserting claims for defamation, invasion of privacy for intrusion, and invasion of privacy for appropriation. The jury found in favor of Berosini on his intrusion and appropriation claims. Gesmundo, PETA, PAWS, and the other defendants appealed.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Springer, J.)

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