Tag: Social Media

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Brown v. SSA Atlantic (S.D. Ga. 2021)
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Holloway v. County of Orange (C.D. Cal. 2021)
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Bruno v. Peak Resorts, Inc. (N.Y.A.D. Jan. 14, 2021)
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Abedin v. Palominos Osorio (N.Y.A.D. Nov. 12, 2020)
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Milke v. City of Phoenix (D. Ariz. 2020)
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In re: 3M Combat Arms Earplug Prods. Liab. Litig. (N.D. Fla., Oct. 2020)
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Maurice v. Allstate Insurance Co. (W.D. Wash. 2020)
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Berg v. M & F Western Products, Inc. (E.D. Tex. 2020)
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Denson v. Corp. of the President of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (D. Utah, 2020)
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Crossman v. Carrington Mortg. Servs., LLC, (M.D. Fla. May 4, 2020)

Brown v. SSA Atlantic (S.D. Ga. 2021)

Key Insight: Defendant filed a motion to compel and for sanctions regarding plaintiff’s failure to identify and produce Facebook account information. Plaintiff had deleted or deactivated and failed to disclose the existence of his multiple Facebook accounts. The court found that the ESI was not “spoliated” since plaintiff only deactivated, not deleted, his Facebook accounts. However, the court found plaintiff’s conduct “troubling” and ordered plaintiff to produce account data for each Facebook account he maintains or maintained, whether deactivated or not, and if defendant finds that substantive information was lost or destroyed, it could renew its motion for spoliation sanctions.

Nature of Case: Personal injury

Electronic Data Involved: Facebook

Case Summary

Holloway v. County of Orange (C.D. Cal. 2021)

Key Insight: The court granted defendants’ motion for sanctions based on spoliation of evidence based on plaintiff’s deletion of his Facebook account. “Plaintiff had an obligation to preserve his Facebook account, he deleted the account with a culpable state of mind, and the account was relevant to Defendants’ claims.” The court further ordered that an adverse inference jury instruction was appropriate.

Nature of Case: Civil Rights

Electronic Data Involved: Social Media, Facebook

Case Summary

Bruno v. Peak Resorts, Inc. (N.Y.A.D. Jan. 14, 2021)

Key Insight: The trial court granted an adverse inference instruction and the appellate court affirmed, finding that plaintiff engaged in spoliation of evidence when he (1) posted a comment to a blog entry about trail conditions on the mountain on the date of his injuries and then later deleted the comment, and (2) belatedly produced Facebook posts relating to his injuries. Plaintiff failed to provide “accurate representations” regarding his posts. His deleted blog comment related to whether the ski trail where he sustained injuries was open or closed on the day of his accident and its subject matter went directly to defendants’ defenses.

Nature of Case: Negligence; Personal Injury

Electronic Data Involved: Blog Post

Case Summary

Abedin v. Palominos Osorio (N.Y.A.D. Nov. 12, 2020)

Key Insight: The court granted defendant’s motion to compel the minor plaintiff to sign authorizations to obtain her social media information. “[D]efendant demonstrated that records from [plaintiff’s] Facebook, Snapchat, and Instagram accounts were ‘reasonably likely to yield relevant evidence.’” The ESI was relevant to alleged emotional and mental trauma plaintiff suffered as a result of the accident as evidenced by her social isolation and withdrawal.

Nature of Case: Personal injuries

Electronic Data Involved: Social media

Case Summary

Milke v. City of Phoenix (D. Ariz. 2020)

Key Insight: The court dismissed plaintiff’s civil rights action based on spoliation of physical and ESI evidence, and for failure to submit complete and accurate discovery responses. The court previously sanctioned plaintiff for spoliation of evidence and determined that lesser sanctions short of dismissal could not cure the prejudice to defendant. Plaintiff, her agents, and her counsel failed to preserve website and social media sites and took affirmative steps on multiple occasions to destroy the evidence after litigation became reasonably foreseeable.

Nature of Case: Civil Rights Act

Electronic Data Involved: Social media and websites

Case Summary

Maurice v. Allstate Insurance Co. (W.D. Wash. 2020)

Key Insight: Defendant had a Motion to Compel Plaintiff to produce information and documents regarding physical and emotional injuries that she purportedly sustained during the accidents giving rise to litigation.

Among the information sought by Defendant were documents and information regarding the negative impact a motor vehicle accident on her social life, hobbies and activities. This included communications, emails, text messages, photographs, video and Facebook posts. Defendant’s Motion was granted, however, Defendant’s request for attorney’s fees and expenses was denied.

Nature of Case: Insurance Contract

Electronic Data Involved: Emails, Text Messages, Photographs, Video and Facebook Posts

Case Summary

Berg v. M & F Western Products, Inc. (E.D. Tex. 2020)

Key Insight: Defendant filed a Motion to Compel Plaintiff that was granted by the Court. The Court ordered Plaintiff to conduct a full search of all documents in hard and electronic formats conduct, including but not limited to all data on social media platforms, demand letters issued by Plaintiff or his counsel to third parties referencing this case, documents and materials of Plaintiff’s company, and documents and materials related to the litigation that are in the custody and control of Plaintiff’s current or prior lawyers. The Motion’s request(s) that Plaintiff be compelled to attend his deposition and testify at trial in-person were denied.

Nature of Case: Copyright Infringement

Electronic Data Involved: Social Media, Electronic Documents

Case Summary

Denson v. Corp. of the President of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (D. Utah, 2020)

Key Insight: Plaintiff’s explanation regarding loss of evidence had changed and court ruled that defendant was entitled to have a third party collect and preserve the evidence. Plaintiff offered passwords to accounts, but court was concerned about possible destruction given Plaintiff’s changing explanation regarding social media accounts and recording.

Nature of Case: Sexual Assault

Electronic Data Involved: Electronic Devices and Cloud Based Accounts; Recording of conversation

Keywords: invasion of privacy, loss of evidence

View Case Opinion

Crossman v. Carrington Mortg. Servs., LLC, (M.D. Fla. May 4, 2020)

Key Insight: Defendant moved to compel social media discovery from plaintiff. The court considered plaintiff’s objections based on relevancy, privacy, and vagueness. Plaintiff did not assert a proportionality argument. The court found that the discovery was relevant – “common sense dictates that information in [plaintiff’s] social medial . . . relates to her contemporaneous mental and emotional states and therefore relates to the injuries she claims she suffered at the hands of [defendant], including loss of enjoyment of life.” As to privacy, a confidentiality agreement suffices to protect plaintiff’s interests. As to vagueness, plaintiff’s counsel can “reasonably and naturally” interpret the requests in view of the claims and defenses through communication with opposing counsel. Lastly, an award of expenses was unwarranted since “reasonable minds can differ on the dispute.”

Nature of Case: Employment Discrimination

Electronic Data Involved: Social Media

Case Summary

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