In an about face of last month’s decision in Romano v. Steelcase, a New York court has denied a litigant the right to compel discovery of his opposing party’s Facebook profile. McCann v. Harleysville Insurance, — N.Y.S.2d —, 2010 WL 4540599 (November 12, 2010)
Much like in the Romano case, the plaintiff here sustained injuries in a car accident and defendant sought to compel discovery of plaintiff’s Facebook profile to find potential photos which would prove that defendant overstated his injuries. In Romano, the court compelled discovery, ruling that information posted to Facebook was public and, therefore, fair game.
In the instant ruling, the court found that defendant’s discovery motion was overly broad and categorized the request as a “fishing expedition.” Notwithstanding the court’s decision to deny discovery here, the court’s language seems to imply that the motion to compel would have been granted if defendant narrowed the focus of his expedition and made a greater showing that he had reason to believe in the existence of the particular evidence sought.
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