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Person A is participating in a PTSD/Abuse recovery program in Tennessee. During a private conversation (not part of any official therapy) they divulge to patient B highly personal information regarding why they (Patient A) are in the program. Patient B, without Patient A's knowledge or consent, records the conversation and sends the recording to dozens of other patients in the program.

What legal recourse does A have, if any?

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  • This asks what the law permits in a specific situation. It is not a request for specific legal advice as this site defines a RSLA. It should not be closed on that basis. Mar 1, 2023 at 4:50

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What legal recourse does A have, if any?

It mostly depends on whether person A had a reasonable expectation of privacy. The fact that the session was a group therapy suggests that such expectation is not reasonable.

Tennessee is a one-party-consent state, thereby entitling any participant to record the session. Also, your description nowhere indicates that patient B has a duty of confidentiality toward person, A or that the group therapy has a rule that overrides that entitlement.

Under Tennessee law the invasion of privacy is a tort, but it requires the intentional intrusion "upon the solitude or seclusion of another or his private affairs or concerns", Harris v. Horton, 341 S.W.3d 264, 271 (2009) (overruled on other grounds; citing the Restatement (Second) of Torts at 652B). The term "group therapy" seemingly strikes the notion of solitude or seclusion.

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  • Thank you for your response. I got the details wrong when I originally posted the question and have edited it to more accurately reflect the situation
    – Kevin
    Mar 1, 2023 at 1:02
  • @Kevin "edited it to more accurately reflect the situation" I'm rolling back to your initial version because the edit was belated, inconsistent, confusing, and still inconsequential. Divulging information to patient B indicates that patient B was a participant in that conversation, and thus his disclosure of it is lawful. Feel free to post a separate question if you have in mind a scenario that materially differs from this post. Mar 1, 2023 at 14:05
  • "The fact that the session was a group therapy suggests that such expectation is not reasonable." - Any sources to back that up? From my understanding, an expectation of confidentiality is very much the norm in group therapy. A quick search for "group therapy privacy" or "group therapy guidelines" seems to confirm that. Mar 1, 2023 at 15:27
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    @IñakiViggers How could the discussion happening during a private conversation between two individuals vs during a group therapy session be inconsequential when your own answer states "The term "group therapy" seemingly strikes the notion of solitude or seclusion."?
    – Kevin
    Mar 2, 2023 at 15:48
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    @IñakiViggers First, I don't think the question as it now stands is confusing at all, especially to people reading it for the first time. It may be slightly confusing if you come into with a concept in your head from the previous version. Second, I don't know what answer you think I want to hear, but I assure you, the only thing I want is accurate information based on an accurate description of the problem.
    – Kevin
    Mar 3, 2023 at 15:56

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