WestlawNext Canada insight Blog

Digest of the Week — The Tort of "Intrusion Upon Seclusion"

Jones v. Tsige |  (WestlawNext Canada)
2012 CarswellOnt 274 |  
Ontario Court of Appeal

Torts | Invasion of privacy | Miscellaneous

Tort of "intrusion upon seclusion" exists in Ontario — Defendant, bank employee in relationship with plaintiff's former spouse, examined plaintiff's banking records at least 174 times over four-year period without professional or other justification — Plaintiff brought action for damages for tortious invasion of privacy — Defendant brought motion for summary judgment dismissing action — Motion was granted and action was dismissed on basis that common-law tort of invasion of privacy did not exist in Ontario — Plaintiff appealed — Appeal allowed; action allowed — Cause of action for invasion of privacy for "intrusion upon seclusion", first described in American academic article, is properly recognized in Ontario — Elements of this tort include intentional or reckless conduct by defendant, invasion, "without lawful justification, [of] the plaintiff's private affairs or concerns" and that reasonable person would regard that invasion as "highly offensive causing distress, humiliation or anguish" — On facts of present case, elements of "intrusion upon seclusion" invasion of privacy were established — Accordingly, appeal was properly allowed and action allowed.
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