Judge Orders Neutral Examiner of Plaintiff’s Facebook Account

Faced with a dispute over whether a defendant hospital was entitled to access to the plaintiff’s Facebook account, a Pennsylvania judge ordered that a “neutral expert” would be given access to search the plaintiff’s Facebook account for photos of her engaging in physical activity and for references to “snow” (due to alleged evidence she was sledding or undertaking outdoor winter activity).  Apparently, the issue was whether the Facebook content would reveal some evidence that she was acting contrary to her injury claims.facebook1

Typically, as we’ve discussed here before, judges will take one of three approaches: (1) granting access as a normal part of discovery; (2) requiring some threshold indication that there is something discoverable on Facebook; or (3) simply denying the request.

No indication what a “neutral forensic computer expert” may be relative to Facebook.  Maybe a lawyer with a blog?

A full background discussion can be found in Discovery of Facebook Content in Florida Cases.

Case is Perrone v. Lancaster Regional Medical Center (Judge James P. Cullen).

The order is here.

Privacy
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Ethics
Florida Supreme Court Allows Judges to be Facebook Friends With Lawyers But Four Justices Disagree With the Practice (“I write to strongly urge judges not to participate in Facebook”)

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E-discovery
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