January 3rd, 2014
In another example of social media posts being used in personal injury litigation reasons for judgment were released today by the BC Supreme Court, Vancouver Registry, where a Facebook post impacted the trial of the 52 year old plaintiff.
In today’s case (Raikou v. Spencer) the Plaintiff was involved in a 2011 T-bone collision. ¬† The Defendant admitted fault. The Plaintiff suffered various soft tissue injuries and had complaints lingering at the time of trial. ¬†The court found some of these were related to the collision and some of these were due to pre-existing factors. ¬†The Court also noted that the Plaintiff “had a tendency to overstate or exaggerate her condition somewhat“. ¬†This finding was due in part to a Facebook update where the Plaintiff discussed “partying“. ¬†In illustrating the use of this quote Mr. Justice Skolrood provided the following reasons:
3]¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†Before turning to that issue, I should note that while I found Ms. Raikou generally to be a credible witness, in my view she had a tendency to overstate or exaggerate her condition somewhat. This is particularly so in her description of her pain as being constant and unremitting.
¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†By way of example, Ms. Raikou travelled to Greece in July and August of 2011. When she returned, she posted the following entry on her Facebook page on August 20, 2011:
From the airport to Eleni‚Äôs and Nick‚Äôs wedding. Missed the ceremony but made it to the reception. From the airport home to change and off to the reception. Made it through and had an awesome time. 48 hours without sleep, jet lagged and still partying.
¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†I agree with counsel for Ms. Raikou that caution must be applied when considering the relevance and import of Facebook entries in that they are but a mere ‚Äúsnapshot in time‚ÄĚ and do not necessarily shed light on a person‚Äôs overall condition or ongoing complaints: see¬†Guthrie v. Narayn,¬†2012 BCSC 734 at para. 30.
¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†Nonetheless, this particular snapshot is inconsistent with Ms. Raikou‚Äôs testimony that her pain condition is continuous and unrelenting and that it has effectively precluded her from enjoying any of her pre-accident activities.