One Boston College student is snacking on a massive slice of humble pie after a costly run of Facebook gloating.
The Miami Herald reports that Dana Snay posted a status update on the social-media network, bragging about the age-discrimination case her father, Patrick Snay, won against Gulliver Preparatory School in Miami, Fla. The elder Snay, 69, was the headmaster of the school for numerous years. However in 2010, the institution didn’t renew his contract. Snay sued for age discrimination, successfully winning a settlement of $80,000 in November 2011.
But the future of those funds is now in jeopardy after his daughter, Dana, informed her Facebook followers about the outcome of the case in a indulgent status update. The post to her 1,200 Facebook friends read:
“Mama and Papa Snay won the case against Gulliver,” she wrote. “Gulliver is now officially paying for my vacation to Europe this summer. SUCK IT.”
Since a number of Gulliver alumni and current students follow Dana, the school’s lawyers quickly learned about the post and appealed the verdict. The settlement included a standard confidentiality clause, barring Snay or the school from talking about the case, reports the Herald. But by Patrick making the decision to inform his daughter of the case’s outcome – with Dana then broadcasting the same info to her Facebook friends – the $80,000 settlement in the case was thrown out this week by the Third District Court of Appeals. “Snay violated the agreement by doing exactly what he had promised not to do,” wrote Judge Linda Ann Wells. “His daughter then did precisely what the confidentiality agreement was designed to prevent.”
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The Miami Herald obtained depositions in the case, which revealed that Patrick presented the argument that he informed his daughter of the settlement because she was aware of the lawsuit and had experienced “psychological scars” while at the school. Patrick’s only remaining options to attempt to reverse the ruling are to file a motion for a rehearing or appeal to the Florida Supreme Court. But the chances of him successfully getting his money back are extremely low, says attorney Bradley Shear.
“It depends on the terms of the confidentiality contract; each one is different, but the damage is likely done,” Shear told Yahoo Shine. “Some confidentiality agreements stipulate that the client cannot tell people who are not involved in the case: others prohibit anyone from knowing. Facebook is a public forum, even if her profile is set to private, and that’s where the mistake was made.”