It’s creepy to find out that a bathroom you used had a camera in it. And, if you did find out that there were recordings, you’d want people held responsible for this invasion. Well, that’s how a number of women felt after finding out that a bathroom they had visited contained a spy cam. Although their claims were initially dismissed, a New Jersey appeals court revived their claims when it ruled that the women aren’t required to identify themselves in the footage to prove their case.

The Invasion of Privacy

In late 2009, Teodoro Martinez, a former janitor at an office building in Somerset, New Jersey, was charged with invasion of privacy after it came to light that there was a surveillance device — which made visual and audio recordings — in the ceiling of a women’s bathroom. When police searched Martinez’s home, they found 8 hours of recordings that had been gathered over the past year, as well as more surveillance devices. Martinez was released on bail and fled the country.

In 2011, over 60 women filed a lawsuit against CRS Janitorial Services (Martinez’s employer), I&G Garden State (the owner of the building), and Planned Cos (the security company). The superior court judge ruled against 35 of these women at summary judgment, finding that a look at the video would be necessary in order to prove that they were filmed. Three of the women were able to obtain reinstatement of their claims, 30 women appealed the decision, and the rest of the women agreed to a settlement in 2016.

The Appeals Court’s Reasoning

The appeals court disagreed with the lower court, and instead found that it wasn’t necessary for the women to view the surveillance video in order to prove that Martinez had spied on them. Judge Clarkson Fisher, who wrote for the three-person panel, stated that making the women to “brandish the smoking gun of an intrusion — an actual image of the event” would give too much protection to the perpetrator and not enough to the victim. The opinion also stated that “[a]n injury logically results from the mere learning of an intrusion notwithstanding the lack of actual recordings.”

The judge also said that if there was a requirement where a victim would have to show proof of a recording to assert this type of claim, it “would excuse the conduct of those tortfeasors who delete, secrete, or destroy once-captured images before being caught.” Similarly, it could also potentially excuse offenders who violate a victim’s privacy without recording anything.

Related Resources:

Law Offices of Ainbinder & Pratt

Find Out If You Have a Case

For a Free In-Depth Consultation to Explore Your Options, Call Our Office at: (562) 498-4600, Text Us HERE or Email Us.

Your Details

Let us know how to get back to you.

How can we help?

Feel free to ask a question or simply leave a comment.

About Ainbinder & Pratt

We dedicate our practice to injured individual and their families, and we have done so for over a combined 60 years. We pride ourselves on providing quality representation with personal attention to every client and case. We understand what it takes to go up against an insurance company and you should not do it alone! Let our experienced lawyers fight your battle for you.

The Practice

Our practice covers all cities and counties in California for workers’ compensation & personal injury cases. We have dedicated attorneys and a knowledgeable staff that will keep you informed throughout the process.

Warning: Making a false or fraudulent workers’ compensation claim is a felony subject to 5 years in prison or a fine up to $50,000 or double the value of the fraud, whichever is greater, or by both imprisonment and fine.

English English Español Español