Social Media has done it again and this time we know the actual cost… to the penny! A teenager in Florida learned of a settlement her Father was awarded against his former employer and bragged on her Facebook account that her trip to Europe was going to be paid for by Gulliver Middle School. The problem was that all of the terms of the settlement were confidential!
Settlements are awarded with confidentiality at times because the entity being sued either doesn’t want the publicity, doesn’t want to pay for the legal defense or frequently because of both reasons. Several years ago McDonalds was settling hundreds of lawsuits over defective lids and they were afraid that any publicity would serve to encourage copycat litigation. Once McDonalds violated their own confidentiality terms the settlements became public knowledge and it ends up they were correct in that it did spur many reasonable legal claims.
The case in Florida is different however. After the girl’s father sued for age discrimination a settlement of $80,000 was offered and accepted that included the typical no admission of guilt and the stipulation that “the man and his wife would not disclose the details of the settlement with anyone”. After the daughter learned of the settlement she decided to share her good fortune with 400 million of her closest friends on Facebook! The sad part of that is that one of her friends turned out to be the very school that had settled on the promise of confidentiality. Sharing that information with the world harmed Gulliver Middle School and invalidated the settlement. Their day in court is forever done!
At the Law Office of Guenard & Bozarth we will use confidential settlements when it is in the best interest of our client and never for any other reason. If a defendant wishes to settle for the value of the case and our client receives the compensation for their injuries that is reasonable and confidentiality is demanded we work with the client so they have a clear understanding the terms and conditions of the agreement. Then and only then do we move forward.
If you have a question about your case we invite you to call our office at 888-809-1075 or visit our website at We are aggressive and compassionate personal injury lawyers and represent only injured persons. We Can Help!