Tesser Ryan Blog

NY Appellate Court Rejects Request for Facebook Records

It seems as though the recent decision of Romano v. Steelcase which allowed
defense counsel access to plaintiff’s Facebook profile to contest the extent of plaintiff’s
injuries does not serve as a carte blanche authorization to seek such information in all
cases. In McCann v. Harleysville Insurance, 2010 NY Slip Op 08181, the Appellate
Department denied an insurance company’s request to look through plaintiff’s Facebook
Account because there was no factual predicate for the relevancy of the evidence sought
to be found. Plaintiff sued defendant insurance company seeking supplementary
uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage for injuries sustained in an accident cause by
defendant’s insured. Defendant claimed it needed the Facebook records to determine
whether plaintiff sustained a serious injury. In denying defendant’s motion, the Court
opined that the request was overly broad and amounted to a fishing expedition. It did,
however dismiss the motion without prejudice thus allowing defendant to resubmit its
motion with a proper factual predicate as to what specifically the information was being
sought for.

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