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Taggart v. Wadleigh-Maurice, Ltd.

489 F.2d 434 (1973)

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Taggart v. Wadleigh-Maurice, Ltd.

United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit

489 F.2d 434 (1973)

Facts

Thomas Taggart (plaintiff) was a custodian of portable latrines at the Woodstock music festival. Agents of Wadleigh-Maurice, Ltd. (WM) (defendant) were at the festival and filmed 120 hours of events at the festival. The 120 hours would later be edited to create a documentary. The agents approached Taggart and asked him questions about what he was doing. The agents also filmed Taggart. Taggart was not asked for consent to film, nor did he give it. Later, after the documentary was released, Taggart realized he was in about two minutes of the documentary. Taggart was portrayed in a way that made him memorable to the documentary audience and that showed him as an object of ridicule. Taggart suffered mental anguish and embarrassment. Taggart sued for invasion of privacy. Taggart’s version of the facts is that he was an involuntary performer in WM’s documentary. WM’s version is that Taggart was part of an event of public interest, and WM had merely shown facts. The trial court dismissed Taggart’s case on summary judgment. Taggart appealed.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Gibbons, J.)

Dissent (Van Dusen, J.)

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