Thursday, January 3, 2013

A Tweet Peach from Georgia

According to a article entitled "Twitter Sinks Woman's Award After Car Accident" by reporter Mark Niesse, carefree Twitter messages about traveling and partying held down the damages awarded by a Georgia jury to a woman who was injured in a car accident.

The jury returned a $237,000 verdict which was much lower than the $1.1 million than the plaintiff had sought. In the crash, the 22 year old plaintiff broke her arm and incurred a forehead laceration that resulted in a scar. She asserted that her injuries inhibited her ability to do her job as a hair stylist.

However the defense used posts from the plaintiff's Twitter account at trial in an effort to show the jury that the plaintiff had recovered from the accident and was living a full life.

According to the article, at times after her accident, the plaintiff had tweeted about an "epic weekend" in New Orleans and also showed pictures of the plaintiff at the beach with friends during spring break. 

In another tweet, the plaintiff stated that she was "starting to love her scar."  Still other tweets posted pictures showing the plaintiff holding a handbag with her injured arm.  

I am not sure if non-subscribers can access to the link but if you'd like to try, here is the link to the article.  Subscribers to The Legal Intelligencer and the Pennsylvania Law Weekly should certainly be able to access this article HERE.

To date, I have not yet come across any Pennsylvania cases involving a motion to compel access to a party's Twitter account, or pertaining to the introduction of a party's tweets at trial, but I can only imagine it's a matter of time.  

I send thanks to reporter Ben Present of The Legal Intelligencer and Pennsylvania Law Weekly for bringing this article to my attention.  

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