Social Media Photos Foil Yet Another Litigant–Clement v. Johnson’s Warehouse

Clement v. Johnson’s Warehouse Showroom, Inc., 2012 Ark. App. 17 (Jan. 4, 2012)

In my long-running series of litigants saying one thing in court and another when talking to their friends online, consider this from a worker’s comp case after a refrigerator fell on Clement:

The first issue Clement raises in his brief is whether pictures of him that appeared on Facebook and MySpace should have been admitted into evidence. He complains that the pictures “are a disgrace to the dignity of the workers’ compensation proceedings and the legal system” and have nothing to do with his medical treatment….

We find no abuse of discretion in the allowance of the photographs. Clement contended that he was in excruciating pain, but these pictures show him drinking and partying. Certainly these pictures could have a bearing on Clement’s credibility, albeit a negative effect that Clement might not wish to be demonstrated to the ALJ or the Commission. We hold that there was not an abuse of discretion in allowing the photographs.

Now that Facebook can do facial recognition, it should next develop a tool to automatically detect photos depicting alcoholic drinks and give users a way to automatically opt-out of those photos!

Prior blog posts in this series:

* YouTube Video Impeaches Witness’ Credibility–Ensign Yacht v. Arrigoni

* Facebook Entries Negate Car Crash Victims’ Physical Injury Claims

* Contrary MySpace Evidence Strikes a Litigant Again–HAC, Inc. v. Box

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

* Disturbingly Humorous MySpace Posts Used as Impeaching Evidence in Spousal Abuse Case–Embry v. State

* Latest Example of Social Networking Site Evidence Contradicting In-Court Testimony–People v. Franco