Legal

Court Says Filming Injured Worker at Prayer Did Not Violate Privacy

By Staff Report

Aug. 13, 2010

A workers’ compensation claimant failed to establish that an insurance investigator who videotaped him praying at an Islamic center violated his privacy rights, an appellate court in Pennsylvania has ruled.


The August 10 decision from the Superior Court of Pennsylvania in Ahmed Tagouma v. Investigative Consultant Services Inc. and Michael S. Zeigler upheld a trial court’s 2009 ruling that stated that “while some individuals might expect a certain level of privacy in a house of worship,” a reasonable person would not have considered the videotaping highly offensive because the claimant could be seen by any “member of the nontrespassing public” that drove up to the building.


The ruling stems from an April 2004 accident in which Tagouma fell and fractured his right hand while working for Arnold Industries. While the claim was pending, the employer’s workers’ comp insurer, Sentry Insurance, retained an investigator to conduct surveillance, court documents state.


The claimant described a portion of the Islamic center as a mosque and sued for intrusion of seclusion.


The three-judge panel of the Pittsburgh-based appellate court upheld a lower court’s dismissal of Tagouma’s suit.  


 Filed by Roberto Ceniceros of Business Insurance, a sister publication of Workforce Management. To comment, e-mail editors@workforce.com.


 


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