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Roberson v. Rochester Folding Box Co.

171 N.Y. 538 (1902)

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Roberson v. Rochester Folding Box Co.

New York Court of Appeals

171 N.Y. 538 (1902)

Facts

The Franklin Mills Company (defendant) used the likeness of Abigail Roberson (plaintiff) on 25,000 flyers, which were conspicuously posted in public places, to sell Franklin Mills’s flour. Franklin Mills did not have Roberson’s permission. Many people commented about the flyers to Roberson, including many people who jeered and scoffed. Roberson suffered great humiliation, causing nervous shock and requiring her to be bedridden and to call a physician. Roberson sued Franklin Mills for invasion of privacy and asked the trial court to enjoin Franklin Mills from using her likeness. Franklin Mills asked the trial court to dismiss the case; the trial court refused. Franklin Mills appealed. The appellate court certified questions to the highest state appellate court, asking whether Roberson had stated a cause of action.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Parker, C.J.)

Dissent (Gray, J.)

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