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YG v. Jewish Hospital of St. Louis

795 S.W.2d 488 (1990)

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YG v. Jewish Hospital of St. Louis

Missouri Court of Appeals

795 S.W.2d 488 (1990)

Facts

YG and LG (the couple) (plaintiffs) were pregnant with triplets that they had conceived through an internationally known in vitro fertilization program at Jewish Hospital of St. Louis (the hospital) (defendant). The hospital invited the couple to attend an event celebrating the in vitro program’s fifth anniversary. The hospital assured the couple that the event was not open to the public or the media and that only other couples who had also used in vitro fertilization would be there. However, when the couple arrived at the event, a television news crew was filming it. The couple refused to be interviewed on camera, but they did not leave the event. A later-televised newscast included the couple’s images and information about their situation, although the story did not use their names. The couple claimed that they had kept their in vitro information very private and that the newscast had caused their religious peers and coworkers to condemn and ridicule them. The couple sued the hospital and the television station for the privacy-invasion tort of public disclosure of private facts. The trial court dismissed the claim, and the couple appealed. On appeal, the parties disputed (1) whether the couple had waived their right to privacy by attending the event and (2) whether disclosure of in vitro information would be highly offensive to a reasonable person.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Simeone, J.)

Dissent (Gaertner, J.)

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