Beware of Facebook

By now everyone should know about the dangers of posting questionable material on social media sites such as Facebook and MySpace. Your web postings may follow you and be seen by bosses, teachers, future employers, etc. When you bring a claim for personal injuries you are waiving your right to privacy when it comes to medical records. In the past, courts have even allowed defendants in these cases to obtain wedding videos or albums to see if the claimant was partaking in activities he or she claimed she could not do. Now, Suffolk County Judge Jeffrey Arlen Spinner has ruled that the defendants are entilted to view a claimant's Facebook and MySpace page, finding she has waived any right to privacy. The plaintiff Kathleen Romano fell off an allegedly defective chair in 2003. She claimed serious personal injuries requiring multiple surgeries, that largely confined her to her home. Ms. Romano had set her Facebook and MySpace privacy settings so that only her friends could view her postings. The defendant wanted to view her Facebook page hoping that it would belie her claims and show an active lifestyle inconsistent with her claims. The court directed that Ms Romano turn over an authorization directing Facebook and MySpace to provide the defendant with access to any records, including those previously deleted or archived by said operators. The court stated that "Plaintiffs who place their physical condition in controversy, may not shield from disclosure material which is necessary to the defense of the action...Thus, 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 sites or they would cease to exist." Just another reminder that their is no such thing as privacy on the internet. Poster beware. -Marc Miner, Esq. Zalman & Schnurman is a New York law firm that concentrates in personal injury actions such as construction accidents, motor vehicle accidents, bicycle accidents, premises liability, trip and falls, slip and falls, snow and ice cases, medical malpractice, traumatic brain injuries, etc. Learn more at www.1800Lawline.com, or contact us at 1-800-LAWLINE, or 1-800-529-5463 New York City, Bronx, Brooklyn, Manhattan, Queens, Staten Island, Nassau County, Suffolk County, Westchester County, Rockland County

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