You’ve had a couple of drinks. You’re giggin’, having a good time, when suddenly, that milk from the White Russian you consumed hits you. Not to worry, you’re clubbing in style. The Standard’s Boom Boom Room is one of the finest facilities in New York City.
You make your way to the restroom, prepare yourself, and suddenly you realize that the entire wall in front of you is actually a transparent window. The view is magnificent! Because you are on the eighteenth floor, you can see miles away. This might be the most picturesque trip to the porcelain bank you’ve ever experienced!
The problem with windows, however, is that they go both ways. Sure, some have the mirrored film and are actually one-way windows. Not at the Standard, however. Gawkers on the street can actually watch you.
The Daily News stumbled on to this display of bowl bombing and interviewed a few former occupants of the transparent stalls. Many of them had no idea that tourists were watching, and pointing, at them while they handled their spring cleaning.
One wonders, however, if there is any actual legal recourse for those who have accidently been exposed. New York has some of the most limited privacy laws in the country. Companies cannot use your image in advertising without your permission. Also, personnel records of court staff, police officers, and bridge and tunnel officers, as well as the records of victims of sex offenses and those involved in transmitting HIV are the only privacy protections provided by law. Common law invasion of privacy causes of action are not recognized in New York.
There’s always the standby: emotional distress. However, courts are skeptical in most emotional distress claims, as it is the most frequently abused cause of action in existence. Nonetheless, if one wishes to claim it, they have to show some extreme or outrageous conduct that causes distress and the defendant either knew, or should have known, that such distress was likely. In addition, New York generally requires some sort of physical symptoms.
- Displaying someone’s “private time?” That might qualify as extreme and outrageous.
- Emotional distress? Sure, we guess it’s possible to suffer distress and extreme anxiety after finding out about your accidental exhibitionism.
- Physical symptoms? Unless you now suffer from anxiety, hair loss or an irrational fear of restrooms resulting in constant GI distress, good luck.
- Consult a New York Personal Injury Law Attorney (FindLaw)
- Standard Hotel Brings New Meaning To ‘Public’ Bathroom (CBS New York)
- Genius’ Dating Spreadsheet Leaked, Is Someone Getting Sued? (FindLaw’s New York Personal Injury Law Blog)
- Bus Driver Arrested After Forgetting Toddler; Emotional Distress? (FindLaw’s New York Personal Injury Law Blog)