A recent New York State court decision in a personal injury case serves as a reminder that a plaintiff's social networking activity -- even when designated as "private" -- can, in certain cases, be accessed during pre-trial discovery, providing a potential treasure trove of information for the defense. [Romano v. Steelcase, Inc., 2010 NY Slip Op. 20388 (N.Y. Sup. Ct., Suffolk Cty. Sept. 21, 2010).]
After falling off a chair in the workplace, the plaintiff in Romano brought a personal injury lawsuit against the chair's manufacturer. Romano claimed that she sustained permanent injuries affecting her "enjoyment of life." According to the defendant, however, publically available information on plaintiff's Facebook and MySpace profiles revealed an "active lifestyle" that belied her claims.