Torts – Invasion of Privacy – Conduct of a Debt Collector

In an action for the balance due on account for merchandise purchased defendants counterclaimed for damages alleging that an agent of the plaintiff, on three separate days, went to the restaurant where the defendant-wife worked as a waitress and in a loud and degrading manner made demands that defendants pay the account. On each occasion many customers were present. Plaintiff’s agent accused the defendants of being “dead beats” and of never intending to pay for the merchandise when it was purchased. The trial court sustained plaintiff’s demurrer to this counterclaim. On appeal, held, reversed and remanded. Conduct of a debt collector which degrades and humiliates the debtor in public and which would be deemed offensive to persons of ordinary sensibilities gives rise to a cause of action for invasion of privacy. Biederman’s of Springfield v. Wright, (Mo. 1959) 322 S.W. (2d) 892.