Lawsuit Ruined by Facebook Post is a Reminder of Social Media’s Dangers

Think social media doesn’t play a role in lawsuits? Trying telling that to a man who had his lawsuit ruined by a Facebook post!

As reported by New York Daily News, this drama went down in 2011 in Miami. The man, a headmaster at a preparatory school, filed an age discrimination lawsuit again the school. He eventually won a substantial settlement, including $10,000 in back pay, $60,000 for his attorney fees, and an extra $80,000. Age discrimination is a very real issue, and this man must have been ecstatic about finding justice and great compensation.

The Impact of Social Media

But when his daughter got involved, things got messy. After learning about her father’s settlement, the daughter, who is in college, took to Facebook to announce her father’s success. Additionally, she claimed that the preparatory school was “officially paying for my vacation to Europe this summer” with the settlement money.

So it was just a young woman making a Facebook post, albeit it a slightly snarky and entitled one, right? That might have been the case . . . except as part of the settlement, her father had signed a confidentiality agreement. Although quickly deleted, the post made its way back to the school, who said that it violated the settlement’s agreement. The judge agreed, and the age discrimination lawsuit got tossed out.

Think Before You Post!

This cringe-inducing case is an important reminder of how social media can influence cases. During a case or trial, both sides are often looking for something to discredit the other, and ill-conceived social media posts can prove to be a major downfall. Even if a post is  a joke or sarcastic comment, that doesn’t mean a defendant, judge, or insurance company is going to see it that way! Anything posted before, during, or even after a case has the potential to be used against you. And if it’s a public post, it probably will be! During a lawsuit, all involved parties (and their families and friends) must be very careful about what they post. Or, in the ideal situation, they should avoid using social media at all during the case.

In the Miami age discrimination case, the man does still have the opportunity to appeal. Hopefully, his daughter has learned an important lesson, and won’t make the same mistakes again if they decide to appeal!

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The attorneys at Perenich, Caulfield, Avril & Noyes represent those involved in car accidents, motorcycle accidents, bicycle accidents, pedestrian accidents, and other types of personal injury matters. Our firm is one of the oldest personal injury law firms in Tampa Bay. There are no attorneys’ fees or costs unless we prevail for you. Call our office 24 hours a day at 727-796-8282 or simply click here to schedule a free case consultation.

 

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