False Light in the Public Eye

A claim for false light is one of four common law claims for invasion of privacy recognized in the District of Columbia. A claim for false light generally requires showing that a person caused publicity about a false statement regarding another person which put the other person in a false light that would be highly offensive to a reasonable person.

A victim of false light may recover compensatory damages for injury to her reputation, emotional distress, and pecuniary losses (such as lost wages).

For information about other civil claims recognized in the District of Columbia, click here. For information about how to use this guide, click here.

[Sources: Douglas C. Melcher, Tort Claims and Defenses in the District of Columbia § 21 (2014), and legal authorities cited therein.]