Raikou v. Spencer, 2014 BCSC 1823
In Raikou v. Spencer, social media evidence was used to undermine the plaintiff’s credibility to bolster the claim that the plaintiff tended to exaggerate the extent of her injuries.
The plaintiff claimed damages for injuries sustained in a motor vehicle accident. As a result of the ongoing pain, she claimed that she was unable to participate in many of the activities she did prior to the accident.
While liability was not an issue, the primary concern was the extent to which the motor vehicle accident the plaintiff was involved in caused her injuries. The court eventually concluded that some of the plaintiff’s injuries were related to the accident and others were the result of pre-existing factors.
The court based its decision on a Facebook update where the plaintiff discussed “partying”, which signified that she “had a tendency to overstate or exaggerate her condition.” While the court acknowledged that social media posts are often simply “snapshot in time”, it ultimately decided that plaintiff’s “particular snapshot was inconsistent with the plaintiff’s testimony that her pain condition is continuous and unrelenting”.
Notably, the claims of the plaintiff in this decision appeared to be quite extreme, which may explain why the court placed significant weight on the one Facebook update.
Social media is being used as evidence in personal injury cases and you can no longer ignore what your clients post online. Private Footprint is a powerful tool that allows lawyers to quickly view, organize, and make sense of the overwhelming volume of social media content generated by clients. You can easily monitor social activity for each client separately, flag specific posts, and quickly generate detailed reports which document your client’s lives before and after life-altering events.
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