A group of wannabe reality television stars locked up in a house for several days. A host appearing via television monitor throughout the house. A naked man knocking on the door. And last but not least, a lawsuit.
"Dr. Phil" McGraw, and the producers of his CBS television show, "The Dr. Phil House," have been sued by former show participants who were part of a 2007 episode. Dr. Phil's nude man lawsuit includes claims of false imprisonment and fraud. A lower court had originally ruled against the women, but the 2nd District Court of Appeals has now put the case back on track for trial. However the court did deny the women's claims for negligence and negligent infliction of emotional distress claims, the City News Service reports. The court allowed the case to proceed because it found that the women had a likelihood of prevailing at trial.
The suit was brought by Shirley Rae Dieu, 56, of Irvine and Crystal Matchett, 26, of Westland, Mich. According to the plaintiffs, the Dr. Phil House was a cramped, windowless "mock house" on a sound stage in a bad neighborhood, the Orange County Register reports. Contestants were allegedly locked up and had their cell phones and other communication devices taken away. They claim they were led to believe they were there to get real therapy from a real doctor.
False imprisonment is the confinement of a person against their will, without legal authority. The confinement doesn't have to be through physical force. False imprisonment can be filed as civil or criminal claim, or as both. In the case of the Dr. Phil's nude man, it is worth watching as it continues to develop.