MySpace Postings Foil Another Litigant–Sedie v. U.S.

Sedie v. U.S., 2010 WL 1644252 (N.D. Cal. April 21, 2010)

I’ve previously blogged about online postings exposing litigant duplicity, i.e., arguing one thing in court but saying something contrary online. (1, 2) This case is typical of the trend I’m seeing. The plaintiff was on the losing side of a 2006 bicycle-meets-postal truck collision. Seeking recompense in court, the judge found the plaintiff was not entirely credible due to juxtapositions like this (citations omitted):

“Plaintiff testified that he spends much of his time lying down, and there are times that he does not leave his room because he is depressed about his overall situation. However, the Court finds this testimony is only partially accurate, and is exaggerated given the other evidence of his actual activities and his pattern of exaggeration. For example, Plaintiff’s online writings show that his life was not constantly “hell on earth” as he claimed. Plaintiff maintained his pages on MySpace and Facebook since the accident , and as of January 12, 2010, his MySpace page listed various activities and hobbies, and friends of Plaintiff. Plaintiff wrote entries on his MySpace page, including one on June 3, 2007, in which he described painting as a frustrating activity when his arm hairs would get caught in paint. Yet painting was on the list of activities that Plaintiff claims were adversely affected by the accident. Plaintiff also testified that he had not done any painting since the accident, but the MySpace entry was written in the present tense at a time just prior to his microdiscectomy. Plaintiff testified that the MySpace entry was a joke, but the Court did not find the testimony credible.”

Funny joke. Why does it always seem to be MySpace in these duplicity cases…?