Facebook Used to Prove Plaintiff’s Quality of Life
In a recent trial, we were able to submit evidence to the jury regarding posts on plaintiff’s Facebook page regarding activities she participated in and her general quality of life. We argued that these posts showed that plaintiff had no loss of enjoyment of life and that her pain and suffering was not great. The jury found that our clients were 100% liable but declined to award any amount for loss of enjoyment of life and awarded nominal amounts for pain and suffering.
Louisiana Appellate Courts Allow Social Media to be Introduced as Evidence
Similarly, in the case of Boudwin v. General Ins. Co. of America the First Circuit noted evidence of plaintiffs’ physical activities contained on Facebook pages as support for the jury’s failure to award damages for loss of enjoyment of life. A simple case law search of the word “facebook” reveals instances in which each Louisiana Appeals Circuit has approved of social media as evidence in some fashion.
The earlier in the case a social media search is performed, the more likely that information has not been removed or set to private. There has been some indication that deleting social media may result in a claim for spoliation but the law is not yet settled. For that reason, be sure to print or take screen shots of any valuable information as the user has the ability to remove or edit the information.
Below is a list of some websites to search. A social media search can be done quickly and may yield invaluable information.
- www.socialmention.com (This site compiles data from a variety of sources, to limit results use quotation marks ex “John Doe”)
- www.pinterest.com (particularly for females)
- www.linkedin.com (particularly for professionals)
Allen & Gooch is providing this legal update for informational purposes only. This article should not be construed as legal advice or a legal opinion as to any specific facts or circumstances. You should consult your own attorney concerning your particular situation and any specific legal questions you may have.