Shannon M. Clark, Appellant v. Shannon Clark, et al., Appellees
Court of Appeals No. H-05-006
COURT OF APPEALS OF OHIO, SIXTH APPELLATE DISTRICT, HURON COUNTY
2005 Ohio 5252; 2005 Ohio App. LEXIS 4793
September 30, 2005, Decided
There are two Shannon Clarks: appellant, Shannon M. Clark, resides in
Norwalk, Ohio, and, until December 2003, worked for appellee Matrix
Automation. The second Shannon Clark whose acts are material to this
matter resides in Sandusky, Ohio.
According to appellant's complaint, when she left appellee Matrix
Automation's employ she elected to "cash out" her company pension plan.
Matrix contracts with appellee MFS Retirement Services, Inc. ("MFS") to
administer its pension fund. In her complaint, appellant alleges that
appellee MFS sent the disbursement check for her pension to the wrong
Shannon Clark. Appellant alleged that Shannon Clark from Sandusky cashed
the check and kept the money.
Appellant sued Shannon Clark to recover the money which was rightfully
hers, seeking a judgment in the amount of $505.41. This portion of the
suit was later dismissed by appellant.
Slso included in the suit were claims against appellee Matrix Automation
and appellee MFS. Appellant alleged that each appellee had disclosed
personal and confidential information concerning her to the other
Shannon Clark. Specifically, appellant alleged that the check sent to
the other Shannon Clark contained appellant's social security number.
Appellant also alleged that when appellee Matrix contacted the Shannon
Clark from Sandusky, in an attempt to verify her identity, Matrix
disclosed "personal and confidential" information about her. It is not
clear from the complaint whether this was again her social security
number or some other unspecified information.
With respect to these appellees, appellant has attempted to state a
claim of common law invasion of privacy: specifically, that both
appellees disclosed private information to the public (the public
disclosure tort) and unreasonably intruded into her private affairs (the
unreasonable intrusion tort).
In this matter, the trial court rejected appellant's public disclosure
claim, concluding that, whatever information was revealed by appellees,
it was relayed to only one person. Disclosure of private information to
a single person, "or even to a small group of persons," does not
constitute publicity and "thus is not an invasion of the right of
privacy, within the rule."
Like the trial court, we simply cannot fit the facts appellant alleged
into this cause of action.
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