The lawsuit filed by New York Giants defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul against ESPN and ESPN reporter Adam Schefter for invasion of privacy has survived its first challenge from ESPN. We wrote about Pierre-Paul’s lawsuit, which arose from a tweet by Schefter which contained a photo of Pierre-Paul’s medical records, here.
ESPN filed a motion to dismiss Pierre-Paul’s claims in April, asserting that the information tweeted by Schefter was protected by the First Amendment as truthful information related to a matter of public concern. In a ruling issued from the bench, U.S. District Judge Marcia G. Cooke dismissed Pierre-Paul’s claim pursuant to Florida Statute § 456.057(7)(a), which provides that medical records “may not be furnished to . . . any person other than the patient, the patient’s legal representative, or other health care practitioners and providers involved in the patient’s care or treatment, except upon written authorization from the patient.” However, Judge Cooke declined to dismiss Pierre-Paul’s claims for invasion of privacy. A written decision is expected from Judge Cooke, which could shed more light on the Court’s view of ESPN’s First Amendment argument.
Judge Cooke’s decision on the motion to dismiss may mean that Pierre-Paul’s claims are headed for serious settlement discussions, which could include guidelines for tweeting information in the future. For the time being, however, Pierre-Paul’s suit has survived the first real challenge from ESPN.