The dangers of using online media cost a Miami family $80,000 on Wednesday.
The Snay family earned the money as the result of a discrimination settlement which Patrick Snay, 69, filed against Gulliver Preparatory School, of which he was the former headmaster. However, he sued the school for age discrimination in 2010 when it did not renew his contract. He was awarded the settlement money a year later. But the victory came with the stipulation that neither Snay nor the school discuss the case.
“Mama and Papa Snay won the case against Gulliver. Gulliver is now officially paying for my vacation to Europe this summer. SUCK IT.”
She shared that post with her 1,200 Facebook friends, which is how it made its way to lawyers for Gulliver. This prompted them to appeal the verdict.
“Snay violated the agreement by doing exactly what he had promised not to do,” Judge Linda Ann Wells wrote Wednesday. “His daughter then did precisely what the confidentiality agreement was designed to prevent.”
But Snay, who is now headmaster of the Riviera Preparatory Academy in Coral Gables, may file an appeal to the Florida Supreme Court.
However, attorney Bradley Shear is doubtful that he’ll get that money back:
“It depends on the terms of the confidentiality contract — each one is different — but the damage is likely done,” Shear said. “Some confidentiality agreements stipulate that the client cannot tell people who are not involved in the case, others prohibit anyone from knowing. Facebook is a public forum, even if her profile is set to private, and that’s where the mistake was made.”