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Could Your Facebook Photos Ruin Your Personal Injury Case?

Facebook and other social media have changed the legal system. A defendant and a plaintiff in a civil lawsuit have access to social media photos and posts. A Florida woman tried to argue that a company she was suing in a slip and fall accident could not have access to photos on her personal Facebook page. A panel in the Fourth District Court of Appeals Florida disagreed.

Maria Nucci claimed that she slipped and fell at a Target store in Florida. She believed a “foreign substance” on the floor caused the injury and she filled a lawsuit. The lawsuit claimed that Nucci suffered bodily injury; experienced pain from the injury; incurred medical, hospital, and nursing expenses and suffered a physical handicap.

In 2010, Nucci was asked to submit testimony in the case during a deposition. Prior to the deposition, lawyers for Target viewed photos on Nucci’s Facebook page and found the profile contained 1,285 photographs. During the deposition, lawyers for Target asked to view the Facebook page, but Nucci objected. After the deposition, Target lawyers found the Facebook page contained 36 fewer photographs, so lawyer assumed that the photos had been deleted from the profile.

Target filed a motion that asked a judge to allow them access to the profile. Nucci’s lawyers argued that the privacy settings on Facebook had been turned on, so Nucci had a right to privacy. Target’s lawyers argued that there was no right to privacy under the Constitution from a Facebook page. As well, the lawyers argued that Target had video of Nucci doing physical activities, and the photos were relevant because they showed Nucci’s current health.

In its ruling the court wrote, “The photographs sought were reasonably calculated to lead to the discovery of admissible evidence and Nucci’s privacy interest in them was minimal, if any.”

The case could have broad implications for discovery in a civil trial and is a warning to people about what they place on a social media site, especially when involved in legal litigation.

If you or a loved one has been injured in a slip and fall accident, contact the Law Offices of James O. Cunningham, P.A. immediately at 877-FL-INJURY (877-354-6587) for a free initial consultation.

James O. Cunningham

Since 1977, personal injury lawyer James Cunningham has provided effective legal advocacy to people who are injured through the negligent actions of another person or entity throughout the Central Florida area. He fights to obtain recoveries for his clients’ physical and emotional pain and suffering and pursues his clients’ personal injury cases with a commitment to excellence and impeccable preparation.

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Florida Personal Injury Office Locations

Main Office

Orlando Personal Injury Office:
3117 Edgewater Dr
Orlando, FL 32804
Phone: 407-425-2000
Toll Free: 877-FL-INJURY
Fax: 407-843-8274

Seminole County

Lake Mary Office:
1001 Heathrow Park Lane
Suite 4001
Lake Mary, FL 32746
Phone: 407-487-4408

Osceola County

Kissimmee Office:
17 S. Orlando Ave.
Kissimmee, FL 34741
Phone: 407-966-4408

Volusia County

Daytona Beach Office:
1301 Beville Rd., Suite 8
Daytona Beach, FL 32119
Phone: 386-243-4994

DeBary Office:
465 Summerhaven Drive, Suite C
DeBary, FL 32713
Phone: 386-320-3911

Deland Office:
Downtown Executive Center
120 South Woodland Blvd.
Deland, FL 32720
Phone: 386-206-1264

Citrus County

Inverness Office:
110 North Apopka Ave.
Inverness, FL 34453
Phone: 352-205-4341

Polk County

Lakeland Office:
1102 S. Florida Ave., Suite 104
Lakeland, FL 33803
Phone: 863-968-7551

Winter Haven Office:
325 Avenue A, N.W.
Winter Haven, FL 33881
Phone: 863-968-7173

Hillsborough County

Tampa Office:
100 S. Edison St. Suite D
Tampa, FL 33606
Phone: 813-355-9772

Marion-Sumter Counties

The Villages Office:
3420 U.S. Hwy. 27/441
Fruitland Park, FL 34731
Phone: 352-419-0825

Lake County

Mt. Dora Office:
602 East 5th Ave.
Mt. Dora, FL 32757
Phone: 352-436-4696

Clermont Office:
900 W. Highway 50
Clermont, FL 34711
Phone: 352-503-4674

Brevard County

Titusville Office:
506 S. Palm Ave.
Titusville, FL 32780
Phone: 321-222-7300

Cocoa Office:
96 Willard Street
Suite 206,
Cocoa, FL 32922
Phone: 321-757-1373