We all know social media use has greatly increased over recent years. And because social media users feel it’s their own personal social media account, whether it’s Facebook, Twitter, or even MySpace, people can post whatever they want about things going on in their lives.
We’re here to tell you that posting everything about your life might not be the best practice, especially if you’re involved in a lawsuit, or specifically, a personal injury case.
In a personal injury case where a woman sued office furniture store and distributor, Steelcase, after claiming serious injuries after falling off one of their chairs, the judge told her she needed to give access of her Facebook and MySpace pages to the defendant. Steelcase felt the woman had posted information on both social media platforms that contradicted personal injuries she claimed to have suffered because of the fall.
Steelcase noted what could be seen publicly on Facebook:
… she has an active lifestyle and can travel and apparently engages in many other physical activities inconsistent with her claims in this litigation.” For example, Steelcase said Romano’s public profile on Facebook depicted her “smiling happily in a photograph outside the confines of her home despite her claim that she … is largely confined to her house and bed. (TechDirt)
Although Facebook stepped in and said giving access to her personal account would violate the Stored Communications Act, the judge felt differently and ordered the information to be turned over to Steelcase.
According to TechDirt, The judge stated:
…when Plaintiff created her Facebook and MySpace accounts, she consented to the fact that her personal information would be shared with others, notwithstanding her privacy settings. Indeed, that is the very nature and purpose of these social networking sites or they would cease to exist…”
The lesson is simple, when dealing with a lawsuit, in this case, a personal injury lawsuit, be cognizant of what you put on the internet, as nothing seems to be completely private anymore.
Have you ever experienced a time when social media has proved harmful to a situation you were involved in?