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

Ensign Yachts, Inc. v. Arrigoni, 2011 WL 5325174 (D. Conn. Nov. 2, 2011)

Another entry in the annals of social media evidence undercutting a litigant’s testimony. This time, a YouTube video becomes the “gotcha”:

Ross Sr.’s credibility was severely impeached at trial, most notably through the introduction of a YouTube video of Ross Sr. and Fabrice Fontanez on a yacht in the South of France directly contradicting Ross Sr.’s sworn testimony that he had only seen Fontanez on one occasion, at the Norwalk Cove Marina in Connecticut, since the dealings regarding the sale of the yacht and that he had no business relationship with Fontanez. Contrary to this testimony, the YouTube video, a promotional video for NuMarine, displayed Ross Sr. with one of his yacht dealers on a yacht in St. Tropez with Fabrice Fontanez in 2010, establishing that he had not only seen Fontanez on at least one additional occasion, but also that he had a business relationship with Fontanez. Further, when presented with this video on cross-examination, Ross Sr. was at best evasive in answering questions concerning the identities of the people shown in the video.