'Butt-dialing' lawsuit cites Federal Wiretap Act

Dec. 12, 2013 at 3:47 PM

CINCINNATI, Dec. 12 (UPI) -- An Ohio airport board member filed a lawsuit against an administrative assistant who shared information she overheard when he accidentally called her.

Jim Huff, a member of the Cincinnati airport board, filed a lawsuit against an airport administrative assistant stating he accidentally called her while discussing firing another board member and the woman recorded the call and shared the information, WKSU Public Radio, Kent, Ohio, reported Thursday.

Kent State University professor Mark Goodman said Huff's lawsuit cites the Federal Wiretap Act, but the law only applies to calls that have been intercepted.

"The law doesn't explicitly define that word. And certainly the courts have never confronted this situation, at least that I'm aware of. So what they're going to have to do is decide, 'Is so-called butt-dialing interception?' And I'm not very confident that most courts would agree with that notion," Goodman said.

Goodman said Huff might have a difficult time proving his case because he was the one who initiated the call.

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