In New York Personal Injury Case Defendant’s Discovery Demand For Access To Plaintiff’s Facebook Account Denied
In the recent New York personal injury case of Sterling v. May, the Honorable George Silver of the Supreme Court, New York County, denied defendant’s demand for an authorization for plaintiff’s Facebook account, noting that to allow defendants to gain such access based solely upon the fact that plaintiff acknowledged that she maintains such an account would amount to a “fishing expedition predicated upon the mere hope of finding relevant evidence.”
In so holding, the Court noted that nothing contained on the public portion of plaintiff’s Facebook page would lead to the inference that her private pages may contain information which is relevant to her claim. This decision is in line with McCann v. Harleysville Ins. Co., 910 N.Y.S. 614 (4th Dept. 2010), which held that defendants must establish a factual predicate to establish the relevancy of material contained in a plaintiff’s private Facebook pages.