Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Plaintiff Prevails on Philadelphia County Facebook Discovery Issue

Philadelphia County Court of Common Pleas Judge William J. Manfredi has denied a defendant's general discovery request for access to a plaintiff's Facebook pages in the case of Martin v. Allstate Fire and Cas. Ins. Co., No. 110402438 (C.P. Phila Dec. 13, 2011 Manfredi, J.).

The Martin decision is a one line Order.  According to the filings in the matter, the plaintiff argued the insurer had not identified any public information on the plaintiff's Facebook site, relevant to the case or not, that would trigger a right to further discovery.

As noted by Ben Present in his recent article in the Legal Intelligencer/Law Weekly, "the defense-favored trend driving the early precedent in Pennsylvania social media litigation doesn't appear to have lost any steam following Martin v. Allstate Fire and Casualty Insurance Co . Rather, while the earlier defense opinions hinged on testimony that conflicted with publicly available Facebook information in allowing discovery, the recent plaintiffs' decisions indicate the party moving for discovery must come to the table with at least that."

Anyone desiring a copy of the Defendant's Motion to Compel, the Plaintiff's Response, and Judge Manfredi's Order in Martin v. Allstate may contact me at dancummins@comcast.net.

Source: "Plaintiffs Win Round on Discovery of Facebook Pages," by Ben Present in the Jan. 3, 2012 Pennsylvania Law Weekly.

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