Doe v. Young, et al., No. 10-3442 (8th Cir. 2011)Annotate this Case
Plaintiff sued Body Aesthetic and three of its surgeons, claiming that they invaded her privacy and breached the fiduciary duty of confidentiality they owed to her when they gave nude photographic images of her body to a newspaper, which published the images. A jury found in favor of plaintiff on her breach of fiduciary duty claim and awarded her compensatory damages. Plaintiff appealed and requested a new trial, claiming the magistrate judge abused the court's discretion by excluding certain critical evidence that would have likely increased the verdict amount. The court held that the district court abused its discretion in excluding testimony from the newspaper's writer and this abuse of discretion was substantially prejudicial to plaintiff's ability to show defendants' breach of fiduciary duty disregarded her privacy rights and adversely affected her claims for punitive damages. Therefore, the court vacated the district court's judgment on punitive damages and remanded for a new trial as to that issue.