Protip: Make Sure Your Facebook Photos Don't Contradict Your Statements In Court…

from the just-saying dept

In my long-running series of litigants saying one thing in court and another when talking to their friends online, consider this from a worker’s comp case after a refrigerator fell on Clement:

The first issue Clement raises in his brief is whether pictures of him that appeared on Facebook and MySpace should have been admitted into evidence. He complains that the pictures ?are a disgrace to the dignity of the workers’ compensation proceedings and the legal system? and have nothing to do with his medical treatment….

We find no abuse of discretion in the allowance of the photographs. Clement contended that he was in excruciating pain, but these pictures show him drinking and partying. Certainly these pictures could have a bearing on Clement’s credibility, albeit a negative effect that Clement might not wish to be demonstrated to the ALJ or the Commission. We hold that there was not an abuse of discretion in allowing the photographs.

Now that Facebook can do facial recognition, it should next develop a tool to detect photos depicting alcoholic drinks and give users a way to automatically opt-out of those photos!

Prior blog posts in this series:

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Comments on “Protip: Make Sure Your Facebook Photos Don't Contradict Your Statements In Court…”

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tc says:

Too easy to abuse

I’m a bit disturbed by this, unless he made the claim that he was unable to stand, walk or leave the house, I don’t see what pictures of him drinking at a party prove.

Unless he was lifting the keg??

I mean, if he can’t do any strenuous physical work and a doctor backs him up, admitting those pictures is a dick move that proves nothing and serves only to influence a judge through innuendo rather than actual evidence.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Too easy to abuse

Also, depends on when the pics were taken.

For example, if I were to be laid up in bed, for whatever reason, but I was capable of moving one arm to use a computer, I would probably spend the time updating my social network, making WoW videos, etc.

Since I didn’t RTFA, if the pics were taken prior to the injury, and he used the time off to upload the pics, then I don’t see how they could be used.

Plus, they aren’t counting the fact that sometimes you can feel well enough to be at work, and the DR won’t release you yet. They do this as a means to not get a malpractice suit against them….and you can get in trouble if you do go to work.

I remember a friend that had gotten in a bike wreck that did get taken to a party by his friends. He was bruised up, arm in a cast, sitting on the couch being fed drinks. He was in no way, shape or form, able to go to work, if anything because of the pain medication…..(why my dumb friends fed him alcohol, I’ll never know….I wasn’t there..he’s lucky he didn’t have a reaction…)

I remember after my hysterectomy that I forced myself to go to my kids school event. I made it a whole 30 min, before I had to be carried out to the car, because I was in so much pain and the stiches started bleeding.

However, if someone would have snapped a pic of the whole classroom with me there, I’m sure it would have looked bad to others. I ended up having to go back to the DR the next day, because I had no business being out and about. My kids were 4 and 5, and they were so excited about this event, I had to go.

There is a fine line between being capable of doing some tasks, and putting in a full 8 hrs at work.

2 weeks after getting home from the hospital after an aortic aneurysm, my mom was up trying to do laundry. We immediately grabbed her and stuffed her back into bed. Where is that fine line between “you need to get up and about to get back to health vs omg you are jimmying the system”?

Cowardly Anon says:

I don’t agree with this at all. My mother has chronic pain in her hands. She has nerve damage and is documented as being 8% disabled in her right hand and 6% disabled in her left.

When the pain started getting bad, she took a pain management workshop and was given the advice that she shouldn’t stop doing things she loves b/c she’s in pain. She’ll be in pain either way, so she might as well do things she likes so that she’ll have some joy in life. Good advice if you ask me.

This case is basically saying the opposite of that. If you are in pain, do not go out and enjoy yourself b/c then people will think you’re not in pain and you can lose your compensation. Why should someone wallow in pain that leads to depression only b/c if heaven forbid they go out and enjoy themselves someone might post a picture on Facebook and it could come back and bite them later.

I feel that’s unacceptable. People who live in pain every day need to come to terms with it and move past it. Doing nothing doesn’t make the pain go away, but it can make you depressed.

nasch (profile) says:

Re: Re:

When the pain started getting bad, she took a pain management workshop and was given the advice that she shouldn’t stop doing things she loves b/c she’s in pain. She’ll be in pain either way, so she might as well do things she likes so that she’ll have some joy in life.

I don’t think your example is relevant. She’s not claiming she’s too sick to work and then going to a party, she’s told to keep living her life as close to normal as she can. Which would presumably include working. It’s just not the same situation.

Jason the Saj says:

He just needs a better lawyer...

Could you repeat what you just said?

“these pictures show him drinking and partying”

Exactly, this just further proves my client’s case that he is unable to have enjoyment in most situations. And requires continual medication to alleviate and dampen the constant pain. Be that medication prescription, or alcohol, a chemical known to the medical community to function as a pain inhibitor.

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