The court said 13th Judicial Distrit Judge Thomas Fuselier corrently certified the class in the case of against the employee, Anytime Fitness and its insurance company.
Plaintiff Jane Doe was contacted in April 2010 by the members of the Baton Rouge Police Department. She was asked to identify pictures of herself taken in various stages of undress.
These pictures, according to the Third Circuit record, were taken by Terry Telschow, as assistant manager at Anytime Fitness, located at 200 Government Street in Baton Rouge.
Telschow, using a hidden pen camera, admitted to placing the camera in the ladies’ locker room on 10 to 15 occasions between Nov. 1, 2009, and April 5, 2010. While meeting with the police, Doe learned that there were several other victims of the actions of Telschow.
On June 25, 2010, she filed a class action petition for damages. Judge Fuselier eventually certified the requested class as “all females who physically entered the women’s restroom/locker room changing room” at the site during the time period in question.
According to the Third Circuit, Telschow also admitted that there are at least five other women that he videotaped during that time that he could not identify.
“Plaintiff Doe submitted evidence of a list of approximately 250-300 women that went into Anytime Fitness during that time period.
“Any of those women that entered into the area Telschow was videotaping could have been exposed to his camera. Thus, each woman could potentially have suffered damages due to the fear of images surfacing depicting them in various states of undress.
“We note that Anytime Fitness is a nationwide business entity which allows its members to use any location, nationwide. Thus, there is potential for aggrieved parties to be located not only in Louisiana, but other states as well and, certainly, from areas outside of Baton Rouge,” the court noted.
The number of women provided by Doe and the various potential locations of aggrieved parties provide a basis for the trial court to find that the lack of a class action could unduly burden the courts and joinder of all interested parties is impractical, the justices wrote.
“In this case, the common issue for all potential plaintiffs is whether they have suffered harm due to Telschow’s admission to videotaping women in various states of undress ... Defendants contend that class certification must fail because each plaintiff would have differing degrees of injury. This contention is without merit,” the court said, noting it found no error in the trial court’s finding and affirmed the class certification.