Facts: Beth Israel Medical Center (BI) e-mail policy stated:
All information and documents created, received, saved or sent on the Medical Center’s computer of communications systems are the property of the Medical Center.
Employees have no personal privacy right on any material created, received, saved ort sent using Medical Center communication or computer systems. The Medical Center reserves the right to access and disclose such material at any time without prior notice.
Dr. Norman Scott was head of the orthopedics department at BI. His contract with the hospital provided for $14 million in severance pay if he was fired without cause. BI did fire Scott and the question was whether it was for cause or not. In preparation for a lawsuit against BI, Scott used the hospital’s computer system to send e-mails to his lawyer, Each of these e-mails included the following notice:
This message is intended only for the use of the Addressee and may contain information that is privileged and confidential. If you are not the intended recipient, you are hereby notified that any dissemination of this communication is strictly prohibited. If you have received this communication in error, please erase all copes of the message and its attachments and notify us immediately.
BI Obtained copies of all of Scott’s e-mails. It notified him that is had copies of the e-mails to his lawyer. No one at BI had read the e-mails, but they intended to do so.
Communications between lawyers and their clients are generally protected, but a client waives that privilege if he publicly discloses the information. When Scott requested that the e-mails be returned to him unread, BI refused. Scott filed a motion seeking the return of the documents.
Question : Which provision of the Electronic Communication Privacy Act applies to Scott’s e-mails?