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False Light

15 January, 2016 - 09:31

A final type of privacy invasion is that which paints a false picture in a publication. Though false, it might not be libelous, since the publication need contain nothing injurious to reputation. Indeed, the publication might even glorify the plaintiff, making him seem more heroic than he actually is. Subject to the First Amendment requirement that the plaintiff must show intent or extreme recklessness, statements that put a person in a false light, like a fictionalized biography, are actionable.


There are many kinds of intentional torts. Some of them involve harm to the physical person or to his or her property, reputation or feelings, or economic interests. In each case of intentional tort, the plaintiff must show that the defendant intended harm, but the intent to harm does not need to be directed at a particular person and need not be malicious, as long as the resulting harm is a direct consequence of the defendant’s actions.


  1. Name two kinds of intentional torts that could result in damage to a business firm’s bottom line.
  2. Name two kinds of intentional torts that are based on protection of a person’s property.
  3. Why are intentional torts more likely to result in a verdict not only for compensatory damages but also for punitive damages?