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Spahn v. Julian Messner, Inc.
New York Court of Appeals
18 N.Y.2d 324 (1966)
Warren Spahn (plaintiff) was a famous professional baseball player. Julian Messner, Inc. (defendant) published and sold an unauthorized fictional biography of Spahn (the book), which was purportedly based on events from Spahn’s life and included Spahn’s name and picture. The book also supposedly depicted Spahn’s private life and included fictionalized and embellished events, conversations, and relationships intertwined with factual information. Spahn sued Julian Messner for invasion of privacy under New York law and produced evidence of the pervasive factual errors in the book. The New York Supreme Court ruled in Spahn’s favor and granted Spahn monetary and injunctive relief. Julian Messner appealed. [Editor’s Note: A summary of the New York Supreme Court’s prior decision in this matter can be found at: https://www.quimbee.com/cases/spahn-v-julian-messner-inc-250-n-y-s-2d-529-1964.]
Rule of Law
Holding and Reasoning (Keating, J.)
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