Paige v. Drug Enforcement Admin., No. 11-5023 (D.C. Cir. 2012)Annotate this Case
Plaintiff, a DEA special agent, was presenting in front of a group of about 50 children and parents at a community center, where he displayed his DEA-issued firearm while discussing gun safety, when his firearm accidentally discharged and shot him in the thigh. Plaintiff subsequently filed suit against the DEA alleging that disclosure of the four minute, nine second video-recording of plaintiff's presentation on internet websites and on the DEA's internal e-mail system violated the Privacy Act, 5 U.S.C. 552a, and the Federal Tort Claims Act (FTCA), 28 U.S.C. 1346(b), 2671 et seq. The district court granted summary judgment to the DEA on both claims. The court affirmed the judgment, holding that plaintiff failed to establish the elements of his Privacy Act claim - specifically, that the video was retrieved from a system of records and that the disclosure was intentional or willful. The court also held that plaintiff's FTCA claim failed because he did not establish all of the elements under Florida law for the tort of invasion of privacy by public disclosure of a private fact where the video contained no private facts and where the accidental discharge was a matter of public concern.