Be careful with phone photos

By Legal Eagle

The moral of this story is that if you choose to take nude photos of your wife with your phone camera, you should be careful about where you leave your phone:

A man is suing McDonald’s after he left his mobile phone at one of the chain’s restaurants and nude photos of his wife ended up online.

The suit was filed on Friday against the chain, the franchise owner, and the store manager, and seeks a jury trial and $US3 million in damages for suffering, embarrassment and the cost of having to move to a new home.

The suit says that Phillip Sherman left the phone in the Fayetteville, Arkansas store in July and that employees promised to secure it until he returned.

Obviously, if it can be proven that the store employees downloaded the photos and put them on the web, then their actions were wrong. But then the question is whether that can be sheeted home to the store manager, the franchisee and the chain.

I wonder what the cause of action is. I’m guessing it would be negligent failure to adequately supervise. I suppose it depends on what the chain’s guidelines with respect to lost items are, and how well they were enforced by the store in question. I also wonder whether damages can be reduced by contributory negligence principles? Definitely embarrassing for poor Mrs Sherman!


  1. Posted November 23, 2008 at 6:24 pm | Permalink

    Did he get the phone back?

  2. Posted November 23, 2008 at 9:26 pm | Permalink

    Employees might have promised to secure it, but it may have been compromized before that, and besides, it might have had bluetooth enabled and unsecured in which case anyone with a laptop in the place might have been able to get to it… without actually touching the phone.

  3. Posted November 24, 2008 at 6:35 am | Permalink

    Isn’t that why they invented Polaroid cameras?

  4. pedro
    Posted November 24, 2008 at 1:06 pm | Permalink

    Hmmm, what is the cause of action? I suppose there is a trespass if the phone is accessed. And how about remoteness of damage?

    $3mil seems a lot, I bet playboy doesn’t pay that much.

  5. pedro
    Posted November 24, 2008 at 1:33 pm | Permalink

    How do their neighbours know they she’s posted on the internet any way? I don’t imagine that sort of thing gets posted with name and contact details, so what are the odds their neighbours saw it anyway? Yes, do you really need to move home if your neighbour learns that sometimes you are naked and, shock!, your husband looks at you then.

  6. Posted November 24, 2008 at 4:47 pm | Permalink

    Well posting someone’s photos on the Net is very bad manners. I’ve actually found (and returned) three mobile phones this year. I thought it rude to even look at the bloody photos!

    Still I don’t see what McDonald’s has to do with this. If you’re going to put personal material (esp someone’s else’s) on your phone you better not lose the bloody thing.

Post a Comment

Your email is never published nor shared. Required fields are marked *