Our Premise Liability Lawyers Successfully Argued in a Case that a Video Tape with Audio Recordings was a Violation of Pennsylvania's Wiretapping Law
In one of our slip and fall cases, our client sustained a serious injury, and defense counsel introduced a video made without the consent or awareness of our client. The video of the slip and fall event also surreptitiously recorded on audio personal details of our client’s private life.
In Pennsylvania, it is illegal to record another’s conversation without their awareness or consent. A surreptitious recording of conversation can lead to a felony violation. Pennsylvania’s wiretapping law is a “two party consent” law which means that it is a crime to intercept or record a conversation or telephone call unless all parties to the conversation have consent and have knowledge.
In our case, the victim was engaged in a conversation detailing an extremely private matter and anyone with common sense would know that recording such a conversation was a violation of the law which potentially exposed the defendant to a civil lawsuit for damages. The use of such a video and audio tape by defense counsel could also potentially expose counsel to disciplinary action.
In another case, a Pennsylvania attorney in a divorce proceeding was reported to the Pennsylvania Disciplinary Board by a Judge for taping his ex-wife in custody proceedings. Understandably when you are in outdoor public spaces, you may be recorded by a video system, but the owner and operator of a premises does not always have a right to record conversations. The Pennsylvania wiretapping law makes it illegal to record private conversations which include conversations in public places without the consent of all parties to the conversation.
Conversations with police or public officials in the course of their duties are not private conversations. Obviously, it is important that our rights to privacy be duly protected from surreptitious “tapers”.
It goes without saying that our client had a very successful resolution to their slip and fall case when the defendant and their counsel were confronted with the possibility of criminal charges, disciplinary charges, and a counter suit for civil damages.
If you or a loved one has sustained a premises liability accident or slip and fall accident, fight hard for your rights. Contact one of our award winning and top rated Philadelphia slip and fall accident lawyers for a free, no obligation consultation toll free at (800) 421-9595 or online at www.reiffandbily.com.