“Private” Social Media Posts May Not Be Kept Private From Court

“Private” Social Media Posts May Not Be Kept Private From Court

At the Charles E. Boyk Law Offices, LLC, we strive to remain at the forefront of the law as it pertains to electronic discovery, including the discovery of information contained within our clients’ social media accounts such as Facebook and Twitter.

We believe that a recent New York state appellate decision has struck a fair compromise between allowing unfettered access to a plaintiff’s social media accounts, while at the same time allowing the defense to discover the portions of the social media accounts that may be relevant to a plaintiff’s legal claims.

In Kregg v. Maldonado, et al. (the Supreme Court of the State of New York, Appellate Division) the defendant, Suzuki Motor Corporation, sought complete access to the plaintiff’s Facebook page in order to confirm the extent of the plaintiff’s claimed injuries.

The Court reviewed some of the holdings that it had articulated in several other cases concerning similar issues and ultimately concluded that “the proper means by which to obtain disclosure of any relevant information contained in the social media accounts is a narrowly-tailored discovery request seeking only that social-media-based information that relates to the claimed injuries arising from the accident.”

As such, the plaintiff in Kregg had to turn over social media photos, posts, etc that could be construed as relevant to the accident and injuries stemming from the accident.  However, the plaintiff did not have to turn over social media photos, posts, etc. that were not related in any way to the accident or claimed injuries.  This seems to be a fair balance, and we believe that the rule articulated in this decision will slowly become the law in more and more jurisdictions, including the state of Ohio.

If you are facing a similar situation, please feel free to contact a skilled personal injury attorney toll-free for more information or to schedule a complimentary consultation.

Charles E. Boyk Law Offices, LLC