Wednesday, December 23, 2009

N.B. Judge Orders MVA Plaintiff to Disclose Facebook Records

CBC reports on yet another Canadian Facebook disclosure decision - this time by a New Brunswick court:

Court of Queen's Bench Justice Fred Ferguson... wrote in his decision there's a low threshold for disclosing evidence and it met the "semblance of relevance" test required when deciding if information will be turned over during discovery.

"It does so, by possibly providing a window into what physical capacity the plaintiff has to keyboard, access the internet and communicate with family friends and associates on Facebook and thus what capacity she may have to work. In that sense: 'It may lead to the discovery of admissible evidence,' the threshold required for the evidence to be produced," the judge's decision said.

"Incidentally, it must not be forgotten that this legal action was commenced by the plaintiff and in launching it she has implicitly accepted certain intrusions into what otherwise might be private information, the disclosure of which would ordinarily be left to her own personal judgment."

At some point, there must be a more considered balancing by our Courts of privacy interests and the increasingly onerous digital disclosure requirements in civil lawsuits.

One must wonder if the recent spate of Canadian rulings that have required injured Plaintiffs to disclose personally-sensitive online materials may ultimately cause a litigation chill that could have potential Plaintiffs thinking twice before commencing proceedings?

Post a Comment