Personal Injury Claim Challenged Due To Social Networking Site Visibility

A personal injury victim named Kathleen Romano brought a civil lawsuit against Steelcase Inc. because of injuries she sustained while working.

The crux of the lawsuit was that Kathleen suffered from spinal cord injuries after the chair she was sitting in at work collapsed. Consequently, Kathleen underwent several surgeries, incurred medical expenses and claimed her quality of life had been compromised, to total $200,000.  However, the defendant uncovered photos on her social networking site profile which demonstrated that Kathleen had enjoyed vacation trips during the same time period.

The plantiff’s attorney had contended that private photos should not be submitted in court. However, a New York court determined that social networking site photos must be produced if deemed necessary in a civil suit.

People may believe that social networking sites offer privacy settings to ensure that information is private.  However,   there are times that private information is not private, despite any measures that users take to ensure privacy. Aside from court requirements, perpetrators may be able to hack into your social networking profile to capture your private information. It is important to note that even social networking sites have disclaimers which inform users that others may uncover private information.

In the case of Kathleen, it was the cause for relevant evidence that opened the door for her vacations pictures to be disclosed. However, you never know when a stranger may tap into your information on a social networking site. In the end, you may feel that the precautionary measures provided in privacy settings are plenty of protection from harm. Yet, this may not be true. It is like locking your door at home but also knowing that someone could break into your house. Using social networking sites is ultimately at your own risk.

If you or a loved one is in nerd of a lawyer, contact Burton Padove for a free consultation at 219-836-2200

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