A Creative Solution to Social Media Discovery

Plaintiff filed a slip and fall action against a hospital and housekeeping contractor and allegedly suffered serious injuries.facebook

The hospital claims that plaintiff’s public Facebook page contained post-incident pictures undermining the seriousness of her injuries.  Plaintiff contended the pictures were taken before the incident.

The Pennsylvania state court ordered that a “neutral expert” download and review plaintiff’s private Facebook account for a 17-day period after the alleged fall to determine whether the pictures or other evidence shed light on the seriousness of the injury.  Defendants had to pay the expert.

This approach is similar to an in camera inspection that is typically employed by judges.  But it is a good, balanced approach to allow discovery while protecting a party’s confidences.


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