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Friedman v. Martinez

Superior Court of New Jersey, Appellate Division

March 23, 2018

JAIME FRIEDMAN; KAREN BANKS; KAREN BARNO; PEI-LING CUIFFO; MELISSA CURRENT; LINDA CUSICK; KATHLEEN D'ANGIOLLIO; DIPTI DESAI; SHARON HUNT; PAMELA HURLEY; MONIQUE JACQUES; JULIANNE KELLY; MEREDITH KOBSTAD; MELANIE LEHMAN; MARIE D. McMAHON; LEYDA J. MONTALVO; NAN NGUYEN; SOPHIA PENNANT; ANA RIVERA; MICHELE SELLNOW; RANDEE BETH SOFFER; CINDY TRABB; NICOLE BEIM; MARY LOU BURT; PATRICIA McEVOY; COLLEEN O'REILLY; MINWATTI RAMSAROOP; TINA ROGERS; PAMELA COOK, Executrix of the Estate of Fannie Woods, Deceased; and DIANE VAN SCHOICK, Plaintiffs,
v.
TEODORO MARTINEZ, Defendant, and ELLEN ARENDT; BENITA C. BENJAMIN; LAURA DANDORPH; JENNIFER DiMILIA; TINA GALLOWAY; JANICE GOSLIN; LORI GRAY; SUNITI HARIDAS; SHARONDA M. HOGANS; ELEANOR HUNTER; MAXINE KENNEDY; STELLA LEE; ELENI C. MICHAEL; ANN M. OSLIN; MICHELE PFEIFFER; ALYSIA SACHAU; KALPANA SHAH; ANGELA SIMS; TRACEY TAYLOR; CHRISTINE VIGILOTTI; ASHLEY WATSON; DONNA WATSON; NETTIE WHITE; KELLY WILLIAMS; NATASHA JOHNSON; DIANE LANZAFAMA; GRAZYNA LeBRON; CAROL MOLINARI; NELITA PONTE and KIMBERLY BRYANT, Plaintiffs-Appellants/ Cross-Respondents, and I&G GARDEN STATE, LLC, JONES LANG LaSALLE, INC., and LaSALLE INVESTMENT MANAGEMENT, INC., Defendants-Respondents/ Cross-Appellants, and CRS FACILITY SERVICES, LLC, Defendant/Third-Party Plaintiff-Respondent,
v.
RUBEN SABILLON, JAMAR SAILOR, and PLANNED SECURITY SERVICES, INC., Third-Party Defendants-Respondents, and PLANNED COMPANIES d/b/a PLANNED BUILDING SERVICES, INC.; PLANNED LIFESTYLE SERVICES, INC. and CLEAN, INC.; INGERSOLL-RAND, PLC; ING NORTH AMERICA INSURANCE CORPORATION; KRATOS d/b/a KRATOS DEFENSE & SECURITY SOLUTIONS, INC.; KRATOS PUBLIC SAFETY & SECURITY SOLUTIONS, INC.; KRATOS TECHNOLOGIES, LLC; and GEOFFREY CONSULTING SERVICES, LLC, Third-Party Defendants.

          Argued February 13, 2018

          On appeal from Superior Court of New Jersey, Law Division, Bergen County, Docket No. L-0831-11.

          Franklin P. Solomon argued the cause for appellants/cross-respondents (Solomon Law Firm, LLC, Locks Law Firm, LLC and Hill Wallack, LLP, attorneys; Franklin P. Solomon, Michael A. Galpern and Suzanne M. Marasco, on the brief) .

          William J. Buckley argued the cause for respondents/cross-appellants I&G Garden State, LLC, Jones Lang LaSalle, LLC and LaSalle Investment Management, Inc. (Schenck, Price, Smith & King, LLP, attorneys; William J. Buckley and Thomas J. Cotton, on the brief).

          Christopher J. Carey argued the cause for respondent CRS Facility Services, LLC (Graham Curtin, PA, attorneys; Christopher J. Carey, of counsel; Adam J. Adrignolo and Jennifer L. Casazza, on the brief).

          Gregory K. Mueller argued the cause for respondents Ruben Sabillon, Jamar Sailor and Planned Security Services, Inc. (Sclar Adler, LLP, attorneys; Brian B. Horan, on the brief).

          Before Judges Fisher, Sumners and Moynihan.

          OPINION

          FISHER, P.J.A.D. JUDGE.

         In reversing a partial summary judgment entered in defendants' favor, we reject the notion that plaintiffs - in alleging an invasion of their privacy in an office building's restroom - could only claim the presence of a hidden recording device by demonstrating their images were actually captured.

         Here, more than sixty women claimed, among other things, that their privacy was invaded when defendant Teodoro Martinez, a janitor employed by defendant CRS Facility Services, LLC, placed and maintained hidden surveillance equipment for approximately six months to a year[1] in a women's restroom in a five-story Somerset office building owned by defendant I&G Garden State, LLC, and managed by defendants Jones Lang LaSalle, Inc. and LaSalle Investment Management, Inc.[2] In November 2009, following discovery of a recording device in a women's restroom, police questioned Martinez and obtained two USB camera devices and a laptop from the CRS office at the Somerset office building; a search of Martinez's residence uncovered other video surveillance devices and computer equipment, and approximately eight hours of surreptitious recordings of women. Martinez was indicted but fled the country when released on bail.

         After a considerable period of discovery, defendants moved for partial summary judgment, seeking to dismiss the claims of thirty-five plaintiffs who were unable to assert that their images could be found in the eight hours of footage seized during the police investigation. The motion judge concluded that to defeat summary judgment these plaintiffs were required to show that a recording device was present when they used the women's restroom and that, to prove a device's presence, each plaintiff needed to assert her image appeared in existing footage:

The bottom line is [plaintiffs] still have to prove the camera was there. . . . The only way they can do that is by looking at the video to establish they were there.

         Because this group of plaintiffs failed that test, the judge granted defendants' partial summary judgment motions.

         The dismissed plaintiffs sought reconsideration without success; three plaintiffs, however, identified their images in the available materials and ...


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