Firm Wins Summary Judgment on Invasion of Privacy and Negligence Claims
On April 5, 2022, the Circuit Court for Baltimore County, the Honorable Keith Trueffer presiding, granted summary judgment in favor of defendants on all counts in the matter of McCray v. Balsamo, et al. Plaintiff alleged that defendant Balsamo, a co-owner of a management company that served as landlord to her business, had disclosed confidential information about the business to the president of the local community association, who in turn broadcast that information during a Baltimore County Liquor Board Hearing assessing whether the business's liquor license should be renewed. On the basis of those allegations, plaintiff alleged that defendants had committed an invasion of her privacy by making public facts that were otherwise private and had acted negligently toward her.
Addressing both counts, the Circuit Court first concluded that summary judgment was proper for both defendants on the invasion of privacy claim as the supposedly confidential facts were already in the public domain and, in any event, their disclosure would not be considered "highly offensive" to a reasonable person and were of legitimate public concern. Turning to the negligence count, the Court concluded that neither defendant owed plaintiff a duty to keep the information at issue confidential and thus summary judgment was warranted on that count. The court further concluded that an absolute privilege applied to the statements made at the Liquor Board hearing, further shielding defendants from liability.
Silverman Thompson regularly defends businesses and individuals in Maryland's state courts. For more information about this case, or how our Business Litigation department might be able to help you, please contact practice group chair Bill Sinclair (who argued the summary judgment motion at issue) at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 410.385.9116.