Is Disclosure of Confidential Information Regarding a Person to a Limited Audience Actionable ?
In Miller v. Motorola, Inc., is instructive. Miller, 202 Ill. App. 3d 976, 560 N.E.2d 900, 148 Ill. Dec. 303 (1990), the plaintiff alleged that her employer had invaded her privacy when, without her authorization, the employer told her coworkers that she had undergone mastectomy surgery.
The lower court in Miller dismissed the plaintiff's complaint, holding that she failed to state a cause of action for invasion of privacy.
However, on appeal, the court held that egregious conduct resulting in disclosure to a limited audience is actionable if "a special relationship exists between the plaintiff and the 'public' to whom the information has been disclosed." Miller, 202 Ill. App. 3d at 980.
According to Miller, if the plaintiff is not a public figure, such a public may be fellow employees, club members, church members, family, or neighbors. Miller, 202 Ill. App. 3d at 980-81.