MCMILLEN V. HUMMINGBIRD SPEEDWAY, INC.
Plaintiff, Bill R. McMillen, Sr., suffered injuries that resulted in possible permanent impairment, loss and impairment of general health, strength, and vitality, and inability to enjoy life, and decided to seek damages from defendants Hummingbird Speedway, Inc., Louie Caltagarone, Dave Resinger, and Josie Lee Wolfe. Josie Lee Wolfe rear-ended McMillen during the “cool down lap” after a stock car race at Hummingbird Speedway, Inc.
According to public posts on McMillen’s Facebook, he had spent some time after the accident on a fishing trip and traveled to the Daytona 500 in Florida. This determination led the defense to seek an order for the plaintiff to reveal usernames and passwords to his Facebook and Myspace accounts to determine if more relevant information had been posted that could possibly contradict this personal injury action. And since Pennsylvania will accept any evidence relevant to “the prosecution or defense of a lawsuit, access to those sites should be freely granted.”
The court states, “Yet reading their [Facebook/Myspace] terms and privacy policies should dispel any notion that information one chooses to share, even if only with one friend, will not be disclosed to anybody else.”
These cases not only solidify the importance of utilizing Internet Profile Reports as a staple in the investigative process, they also show some insight on judges’ thoughts when a claim has crossed over into the litigation process.