Attorney successfully had the Superior Court vacate the jury verdict, which awarded the plaintiff compensatory and punitive damages, on an invasion of privacy claim
Attorney successfully had the Superior Court vacate the jury verdict, which awarded the plaintiff compensatory and punitive damages, on an invasion of privacy claim. The case involved the attempted unionization of medical/surgical nurses, and during hearings held before the NLRB, the defendant hospital introduced employment records of various members of the defendant's staff in order to show that a specific nursing position was supervisory and should be excluded from the proposed bargaining unit. One of the documents introduced related to the job performance of the plaintiff, who was a member of the union organizing committee. After allegedly being informed by a co-worker that the defendant had used a document from her personnel file at the NLRB hearing, the plaintiff filed a complaint against the defendant claiming invasion of privacy due to the defendant's dissemination of a document from her confidential personnel file. In its decision, the Superior Court concluded that because the NLRB hearing constitutes a judicial or quasi-judicial proceeding, the defendant's disclosure was absolutely privileged as a matter of law and there was no evidence of abuse of that privilege. The Court further determined that the trial court improperly submitted the issue of punitive damages to the jury because the plaintiff did not present evidence of intentional, willful, wanton or reckless conduct. As a result, the Superior Court remanded the case for entry of JNOV in favor of the defendant.