Social Media in a court of law creates problems for personal injury victims. That includes Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Myspace, Snapchat, Youtube, and any other platform where visual evidence can be captured and submitted for evidence in court.
Before you snap that selfie, stop and think. We have talked before about how social media can cause you problems. If you aren’t careful, your actions on social media could come back to haunt you and your case.
Consider the case of Kathleen Romano, who was working at her desk at the Stony Brook University Medical Center in 2003 when her office chair collapsed. Romano sued the chair’s manufacturer, Steelcase, alleging that the chair had been defective and that its collapse caused her severe back injury, confined her largely to her home, and led to a loss of enjoyment of life. After clicking around Romano’s social media properties, Steelcase’s attorneys noticed that Romano’s Facebook profile photo showed her smiling—outside her home.
And her MySpace postings were peppered with suspicious emoticons: smiley faces. “We figured something smells here,” a Steelcase lawyer said later. “We wanted to see what else was in there.” In 2010, the court granted Steelcase access to private corners of Romano’s social media presence to dig for more smiles; 12 years after the chair incident, Romano’s suit remains in litigation. Civil cases built on injury victims’ tales of woe have since been undermined by Facebook updates showing the alleged victims kayaking, riding a motorcycle, or performing a keg stand.
Just remember, if you are not careful on social media, things that you post on your channels can and will be used against you in a court of law. When it comes to discretion on social media, less is more.
For more stories about how social media may be used against you in a court of law, check out this article.