A Miami FL teenager is probably in a heap of trouble today. According to the Miami Herald, an appeals court in Florida tossed out her father’s $80,000 age discrimination settlement because the teen violated the confidentiality agreement by bragging about it on Facebook.
The Herald reported that the Third District Court of Appeals tossed out the settlement last week.
The newspaper reported that the offending quote was as follows:
‘Mama and Papa Snay won the case against Gulliver. Gulliver is now officially paying for my vacation to Europe this summer. SUCK IT.’
The story is that Patrick Snay was the headmaster for Gulliver Prep School for several years when they decided to not renew his contract. He decided to sue and the school settled, but only on the condition that he and his wife keep the agreement private. The school agreed to pay checks of $10,000 in back wages, another $60,000 to his attorney, and $80,000 to Snay.
So, there were two problems in this case – first, that Snay told his daughter, and then his daughter told all of her friends on Facebook. The Herald reported that Snay told his daughter right away about the settlement because he was happy with the results. He said in depositions that he and his wife wanted to tell their daughter about it because she had suffered psychological scars from issues when she was enrolled at the school. She also knew that her parents were in mediation with the schools’ lawyers.
The offending post was seen by current and former students at the school. It eventually made it back to the attorneys at the school, who informed the Snays that they had violated the terms of the deal.
While this story is funny in a way, there is a serious message. Be very careful of what you post on Facebook, friends and neighbors. Be especially cautious about posting anything about a legal case in which you are involved.
This story just goes to show that while some reports say that many young people are leaving Facebook, it is still very popular and has a huge audience of hundreds of millions. If you want to get a lawsuit thrown out with a confidentiality agreement, there probably isn’t a better way to do it than to post it on Facebook.