We have no doubt all seen or heard stories about ill-advised Facebook and other social networking posts. Well another to add to this, on this occasion via a recent District Court decision of Keen DCJ in Barford -v- Bini  WADC 152, delivered on 6 Oct 2009.
In this case, a motor vehicle accident claim, the key question was whether or not the plaintiff, a passenger in a vehicle involved in a collision, had sustained enduring neck and back injury in addition to transient bruising etc. After a thorough review of the evidence, Judge Keen found he could not accept the plaintiff’s evidence in a number of important respects and so was not satisfied any significant injury had occurred.
Relevantly, Judge Keen found inconsistency between the plaintiff’s activities during an extended trip to Europe and North America and his claimed degree of neck symptoms. Judge Keen was taken, as one example, to the plaintiff’s Facebook entry which referred to ‘climbing’ the Empire State Building. The plaintiff was evasive as to what ‘climbing’ meant and to what extent he had climbed stairs at this landmark.
The plaintiff’s claim was dismissed on the basis that no serious injury had been sustained.
Interesting to speculate how the defendant obtained access to the plaintiff’s Facebook posts. It seems likely this was fed to the defendant (the compulsory third party insurer) by an acquaintance wishing to ‘dob him in.’ With friends like that……