Social Media Decisions

By bseal
  • McMillen v. Hummingbird Speedway

    McMillen v. Hummingbird Speedway
    In the first social media discovery decision in Pennsylvania, a Jefferson County judge ruled that a person's social network sites may contain information relevant to the prosecution or defense of a lawsuit and, in consideration of the law's general disapproval of privileges, access to those sites should be freely granted. Read the digest here.
  • Kennedy v. Norfolk

    Kennedy v. Norfolk
    Where a plaintiff indicated he “liked” shooting on his public Facebook page, the defense argued such was inconsistent with his deposition testimony that he could not go shooting with his children as a result of an underlying accident. However, the court did not find the defense has presented the threshold relevance to warrant discovery of the plaintiff’s private page. Discovery denied.
  • Piccolo v. Paterson

    Piccolo v. Paterson
    The plaintiff in a car accident case did not have to accept a friend request on Facebook from the defendant so that the defendant could have full access to the plaintiff's postings and pictures, a Bucks County Common Pleas Court judge ruled. Read the full story here.
  • Zimmerman v. Weis Markets

    Zimmerman v. Weis Markets
    A Northumberland County judge granted a defense motion seeking access to the private portions of the Facebook and MySpace accounts of a personal injury plaintiff, finding no privilege existed in Pennsylvania for information on private sections of social websites. Read the full story here.
  • Largent v. Reed

    Largent v. Reed
    A third court in the state decided that, if a party in a civil case posts information on his or her Facebook page and that information appears to contradict statements in discovery or testimony, the party's Facebook page falls within the scope of discovery. Read the full story here.
  • Kalinowski v. Kirschenheiter

    Kalinowski v. Kirschenheiter
    A Luzerne County judge denied a defendant insurance company's request to gain access to its opponent's private Facebook and Myspace pages, but ordered the plaintiff not to delete the websites or any of the content on them. Read the full story here.
  • Arcq v. Fields

    Arcq v. Fields
    A Franklin County judge denied an auto-accident defendant's motion asking for access to the plaintiff's social media pages because the request did not stem from information found on the plaintiff's public profile. It appeared to be the first decision in the state to deal with social media discovery in which the defendant could not point to content available for anyone to see. Read the full story here.
  • Martin v. Allstate Fire and Casualty Insurance

    Martin v. Allstate Fire and Casualty Insurance
    A Philadelphia judge denied an insurance company's request to probe a Facebook page in an injury case after the plaintiff argued the insurer had not identified any public information on the page, relevant to the case or not, that would trigger discovery. Read the full story here.
  • Gallagher v. Urbanovich

    Gallagher v. Urbanovich
    A Montgomery County judge allowed a man claiming he was sucker-punched during a work-sponsored soccer game to investigate the Facebook page of his alleged attacker, ostensibly to find information to bolster his civil lawsuit. Read the full story here.
  • Trail v. Lesko

    Trail v. Lesko
    An Allegheny County judge denied cross-motions from parties seeking to discover information on the Facebook profiles of the two people involved in a fatal automobile collision, ruling that the plaintiff's request did not argue how the information would be relevant to a punitive damages claim, and that the defense motion relied on Facebook fodder that was consistent with the plaintiff's claims. Read the full story here.
  • Simms v. Lewis

    Simms v. Lewis
    Judge Thomas M. Bianco endorsed the growing line of reasoning, deciding the discovery motion based on the public showing threshold in a motor vehicle case. Bianco granted one defendant access to the plaintiff's "myYearbook" account because information provided by the defense on the publicly available portion of her account opened the gates of discovery to the rest of her social networking page. Read the full story here.
  • Mazzarella v. Mount Airy #1

    Mazzarella v. Mount Airy #1
    A Monroe County judge granted discovery, apparently without a public-to-private showing, according to court filings by the parties involved. The judge said the plaintiff suing for personal injury had no expectation of privacy if she used social media. The plaintiff had objected to an interrogatory regarding her use of social media. Read the full story here.
  • Hoy v. Holmes

    Hoy v. Holmes
    A Schuylkill County judge denied without prejudice the discovery request of an automobile accident defendant seeking access to his opponents' social media accounts. Read the full story here.