Plaintiff Must Provide Access to 'Private' Facebook & MySpace Pages, Judge Rules

  • Print.

By placing her physical condition at issue in a tort claim over a fall from an office chair at work, a woman effectively waived any expectation of privacy in her nonpublic social networking posts relevant to show the extent of her injury and damages, a New York judge has ruled.

After the defendant, Steelcase Inc., made a showing that the plaintiff, Kathleen Romano, seemingly might have relevant material on her “private” Facebook and MySpace pages, Suffolk County Supreme Court Acting Justice Jeffrey Arlen Spinner ruled that she had to provide access to all of the material on the sites, the New York Law Journal reported.

“In light of the fact that the public portions of plaintiff’s social networking sites contain material that is contrary to her claims and deposition testimony, there is a reasonable likelihood that the private portions of her sites may contain further evidence such as information with regard to her activities and enjoyment of life, all of which are material and relevant to the defense of this action,” said the judge in a written opinion.

For more information about the case, read the full New York Law Journal article.

Hat tip: Metropolis (Wall Street Journal).

Related coverage:

The Not-So-Private-Parts (Forbes): “Do Your Social Networking Privacy Settings Matter If You Get Sued?”

Give us feedback, share a story tip or update, or report an error.