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Girl's Facebook Post Costs Her Dad $80,000 387

Posted by samzenpus
from the don't-say-a-word dept.
Hugh Pickens DOT Com writes "BBC reports that when Dana Snay learned her father had been awarded an $80,000 cash settlement in an age-discrimination lawsuit against his former employer, she couldn't resist bragging about it on Facebook. 'Mama and Papa Snay won the case against Gulliver,' the teen posted to her 1,200 Facebook friends. 'Gulliver is now officially paying for my vacation to Europe this summer. SUCK IT.' Trouble was her father had signed a confidentiality agreement so the school refused to pay a dime and a Florida appeals court has found in the school's favor. 'Snay violated the agreement by doing exactly what he had promised not to do,' wrote Judge Linda Ann Wells. 'His daughter then did precisely what the confidentiality agreement was designed to prevent.' Snay's father said in depositions that he and his wife knew they had to say something to their daughter because she suffered 'psychological scars' from issues during her enrollment at the school and was aware that they were in mediation with Gulliver attorneys. Attorneys say it's unlikely confiding in Dana Snay would have jeopardized the settlement — it was the facebook post that did them in. 'Remember when all you had to worry about was your daughter posting naked selfies of herself on Facebook?' writes Elie Mystal at Above the Law. 'Now, things are worse.'"
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Girl's Facebook Post Costs Her Dad $80,000

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  • by rebelwarlock (1319465) on Sunday March 02, 2014 @01:43PM (#46382179)
    As near as I can tell, there's nothing especially tech related in this story. She screwed up in a way that many before her have screwed up, it's just that she happened to use facebook to do it. Nothing to see here.
    • by Camel Pilot (78781) on Sunday March 02, 2014 @01:45PM (#46382203) Homepage Journal

      I guess because the girl in question used technology to enable her to screwup in a really big way.

    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Because we hates teh Fazeboook @ Slashd0t.

    • by Buck Feta (3531099) on Sunday March 02, 2014 @02:17PM (#46382441)

      So why is this here?

      Two words: Hugh Pickens. Remember the article about the "magical" ctrl-shift-t combo ("It's like ctrl-z for the internet!")? Hugh Pickens. Organic chemistry is hard? Hugh Pickens. The Christian Science Monitor is warns Congress not to cut food stamps? You guessed right, that's a Hugh Pickens. The guy is fucking clickbait/comment-bait. He's a scourge on slashdot, and they keep printing his inane copy-paste submissions. That's how I see it.

    • by erroneus (253617) on Sunday March 02, 2014 @02:23PM (#46382499) Homepage

      It's here as a reminder that Facebook is a REALLY dumb idea and that people should realize it's not private.

  • by gweihir (88907) on Sunday March 02, 2014 @01:43PM (#46382183)

    Not news at all. However the penalty for this stupid thing is a bit harsh compared to the infraction. Maybe the parents should have explained a bit more to her what this entails and what the effects of telling anybody could be...

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by mmell (832646)
      Yeah. "We screwed up. We should've known better, but we decided to do it anyway. Here's our penalty money."

      "Oh, you screwed up. Your daughter didn't play by our rules. We take it all back...for teh win!"

      Who's the batch of asshats who are reaming her dad out like this anyway? Sounds like it's time to shine a Slash dotlight on 'em.

      • by mysidia (191772) on Sunday March 02, 2014 @02:21PM (#46382477)

        Yeah. "We screwed up. We should've known better, but we decided to do it anyway. Here's our penalty money." "Oh, you screwed up. Your daughter didn't play by our rules. We take it all back...for teh win!"

        They screwed up by divulging legally privileged information to a child, who has not yet reached the maturity to appropriately respect the confidentiality requirement.

        • by pijokela (462279) on Sunday March 02, 2014 @02:30PM (#46382551)

          Then they screwed up already by signing the agreement. I don't think it's realistic to have this kind of stuff happening in your family and then not telling you teenage kid the end result. I mean, after a year of mom and dad being nervous and stressed about the thing you will - not say a word to your kid? WTF kind of parenting is that? So they should not have taken an agreement that had that kind of a clause in the first place.

          • by thewolfkin (2790519) on Sunday March 02, 2014 @02:49PM (#46382673) Homepage
            she's a teenage girl. you should be able to sit her down and say "Honey, We just want to let you know that we've reached a resolution. We can't legally tell you and you can't tell anyone the details but you don't have to worry it's over". A teenage girl should have the maturity to understand and accept that.
            • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday March 02, 2014 @02:56PM (#46382739)

              A teenage girl... maturity...

              Parse Error: There is a problem parsing the sentence.

          • by AK Marc (707885)
            They should have told her before the agreement was signed. "Once the agreement was signed, we did not tell anyone."
          • by Nyder (754090) on Sunday March 02, 2014 @03:52PM (#46383131) Journal

            Then they screwed up already by signing the agreement. I don't think it's realistic to have this kind of stuff happening in your family and then not telling you teenage kid the end result. I mean, after a year of mom and dad being nervous and stressed about the thing you will - not say a word to your kid? WTF kind of parenting is that? So they should not have taken an agreement that had that kind of a clause in the first place.

            Telling her wasn't the problem. Her telling everyone via Facebook is the problem.

          • I mean, after a year of mom and dad being nervous and stressed about the thing you will - not say a word to your kid? WTF kind of parenting is that?

            You say it in a biased way, assuming a level of stress displayed to the child was a necessary part of what happened. But it wasn't necessarily like that.

            Good parenting? Good parenting is not sharing your financial affairs good or bad with your children. I never had, and never needed to have any details of my parents financial affairs, even the big ones like house and car buying, whether or not they inherited anything, and whilst I was aware when there were legal issues regarding accidents, I never knew the

      • Who's the batch of asshats who are reaming her dad out like this anyway? Sounds like it's time to shine a Slash dotlight on 'em.

        Nonsense. The school negotiated in good faith and came to an acceptable settlement--quite favorable to the plaintiff, when you consider that he didn't have to prove that they had done anything wrong. It's not their fault that the Snays immediately violated the terms of the settlement.

    • I'm not sure it's really all that harsh. It sounds like this "little" girl (who might be inferred to be over 18 now, God help us all) is a real piece of work. Now, if the settlement included rescinding the $60,000 award to plaintiff's attorneys, which would then cost Mr. Snay real money out of his pocket, that would be a much tougher pill to swallow. As it is, they won't be receiving any money, which is much different than, say, sharing mp3 files and being given a bill for 5-6 figures.

      • I'm not sure it's really all that harsh.Now, if the settlement included rescinding the $60,000 award to plaintiff's attorneys, which would then cost Mr. Snay real money out of his pocket, that would be a much tougher pill to swallow.

        He will have to pay the attorneys' fees for the appeals, regardless of whether he ultimately wins.

    • Well,
      in a sane country, with a sane legal system, parents are not 'responsible' (only liable) for actions of their ten year old children.
      In other words: in europe the 'culprit' had to pay, there is no violation of the settlement, as the parents (the father?) did nothing wrong. And I'm pretty sure a clause like "we settle for this, and you keep it secret" is void anyway in europe.
      A settlement is part of the "ruling", the court rules "because the parties settled to this (insert settlement) the case is dismiss

      • because the parties settled to this (insert settlement) the case is dismissed

        ...where "this" refers to one dollar and other valuable consideration [slashdot.org].

      • The girl is 19, not 10. And the parents aren't responsible for her actions - they're responsible for their own. They agreed to a settlement that required they not tell anyone, then they told their daughter.
    • by technomom (444378)
      Her parents should have simply kept their mouths shut about the settlement entirely. They had one job to do in this settlement. They didn't do it.
  • by namgge (777284) on Sunday March 02, 2014 @01:47PM (#46382213)
    There is only one way to keep something secret; don't tell anyone. And anyone includes your teenage daughter.
  • Proceeding on the assumption a minimum of one sentient creature is required to be in the know for a secret to exist,

    that is exactly where the laws of probability are greatest for containment.

    Please understand the person you tell may be no better at keeping it than you were.

  • by schneidafunk (795759) on Sunday March 02, 2014 @01:55PM (#46382279)

    Confidentiality agreements are *gasp* legal contracts. Their daughter made a stupid mistake, as teenagers do, that doesn't change the fact that the agreement was broken.

    • by amiga3D (567632)

      Look at the bright side. It's an 80,000 dollar lesson in how to keep your mouth shut. I'd hope she would now know to not tell things just because you can. I know my parents used to caution me to not tell things about our business.

    • by evilviper (135110)

      Yes, this is a worthless story that was just posted here solely as fodder for people to come and complaint about anything Facebook-related.

    • by Zero__Kelvin (151819) on Sunday March 02, 2014 @02:30PM (#46382545) Homepage

      "Confidentiality agreements are *gasp* legal contracts."

      And there's the problem. Confidentiality agreements should be illegal in the context of a legal case. If you don't want people to know you are a scumbag company, don't be a scumbag company. Paying people off to keep the secret seems phenomenally immoral.

      • by RockClimbingFool (692426) on Sunday March 02, 2014 @02:42PM (#46382629)
        I wholeheartedly agree with this. Confidentially agreements allow companies to hide patterns of illegal behavior. Repeated bad behavior should result in escalating fines and confidentially agreements just make it that much harder for the next victim to show that there is entrenched culture of abuse.
      • by gnasher719 (869701) on Sunday March 02, 2014 @02:54PM (#46382719)

        And there's the problem. Confidentiality agreements should be illegal in the context of a legal case. If you don't want people to know you are a scumbag company, don't be a scumbag company. Paying people off to keep the secret seems phenomenally immoral.

        Why? What's the alternative? One alternative is that the father would have shut up and got nothing. The other alternative is that he would have gone to court, at possibly enormous cost, with no certainty about winning or losing, possibly ending up with a huge bill and no payment, or ending up with a huge bill and a possibly small payout, the company ending up with a huge bill and possible a payout, and the lawyers with lots of money in their pocket.

        Remember that we don't know if the company has actually done anything wrong, or if they have done anything that was provably wrong, or anything that was wrong enough to convince a jury that they should pay out money. "Scumbag company" is an unproven assumption that you are making, nothing more.

        • by Zero__Kelvin (151819) on Sunday March 02, 2014 @03:04PM (#46382801) Homepage

          " "Scumbag company" is an unproven assumption that you are making, nothing more."

          You don't seem to quite understand how the world works. This particular company may not be a scumbag company (though my understanding is that it is in fact one such organization.) This single case is immaterial. The fact is that many, many scumbag companies use the confidentiality "trick" to continue to exibit behaviours that, in many cases, lead to further deaths, disfigurements, etc. So you ask me, what's the alternative? That's easy. Make it illegal to keep secret the details of settlement agreements. Really. Seriously? You couldn't figure that out?

          • by PapayaSF (721268)

            You don't seem to quite understand how the world works.

            I don't think you do. A civil settlement is compromise, often in many parts. Neither side gets everything they want. A confidentiality agreement is one of those potential parts. If you remove that option, the parties will simply compromise in other ways. Most likely, it means a company would offer a smaller settlement, and be more willing to go to trial.

            Also, you seem to assume that anyone suing a company is in the right, and every company in the wrong. Not so.

      • by asmkm22 (1902712)

        Settlements are sometimes used that way, but I don't see what the problem is. Especially when you're talking about large companies with various branches and regions. It gives them a chance to avoid court expenses, compensate the wronged party, and not disrupt their stock or other business dealings as a result. That doesn't mean they are a "scumbag company" that was just trying to bribe someone into shutting up. And even if they were, go bitch to the person who took the settlement.

    • by allo (1728082)

      but its not her contract.

  • by roc97007 (608802) on Sunday March 02, 2014 @02:00PM (#46382323) Journal

    This is why it's important to communicate with your kid. These things are not difficult to foresee. Kids (and a lot of adults) tend to believe against all reason that Facebook and it's ilk are their own private playground where nothing goes past their own circle of friends. But Facebook is just the tool here -- an attractive nuisance, if you will. It's so easy to acquire the momentary satisfaction of revealing information to your circle of friends. But it's really part of a larger problem, that of knowing when to keep your mouth shut in any medium. Adults presume at their peril that kids have this kind of insight.

    So if, in this case, the adult told the kid "this is what a confidentiality agreement means, and doing this or that will violate it" and the kid did it anyway, she now owes the family about a century of allowance. But if the adult did not adequately explain this, it's really the adult's fault, because this is a natural thing for kids to want to do.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      Parent: "Do not, under ANY circumstance, tell anyone about this. It is confidential. We have to pay the money back if you say anything."

      Child: "Understood"

      Parent: "You told people"

      Child: "No, I just posted on FaceBook that Gulliver was paying for our vacation. I didn't say how much or why or any of that stuff you said was confidential. I didn't actually *tell* anyone. The only people on my FaceBook are my friends, family, every guy I thought was cute once, and the pages for Love Pink and weed dispensar

      • I can see that this has some logic to it.

        If however we take it a bit further, it means that parents who leave guns available to kids who are not responsible to wield them are guilty of murder should something bad happen.

        Some people get the warm fuzzies over confidentiality agreements. I can see them in some cases such as trade secrets, but protecting the guilty isn't something that keeps me awake at night.

  • Are we sure those aren't her grandparents?

    Or is he her stepfather? 'Cause if I were her stepfather, she'd be sleeping at her bio-father's house tonight...

  • While I don't agree that the settlement should have been confidential in the first place, a contract is a contract and he broke the damn rules.

    I hope the lawyers eat their fill out of what he DID keep, and then he loses in the final appeal and gets left hung out to dry.

    We hate it when big corporations weasel out of their promises, so I don't really think it's kosher to let Joe Sixpack have a free pass doing the same thing.

    And honestly, I oppose confidentiality clauses on principle. This 80 grand was nothin

  • by mmell (832646) <mike.mell@gmail.com> on Sunday March 02, 2014 @02:03PM (#46382347)
    Yup. Tell your friends. That's where you don't wanna send yer kids - they don't have any truly experienced personnel there (or so I've heard)...

    Gulliver Preparatory School wins. They don't have to pay anything...but then again, they don't have any right to suppress the truth which a court of law has declared (now that the judgement is apparently void), that they're (in my opinion) just one big waste of air space and semi-human skin wrapped in a warm moist layer of fecal matter. Spread the word! Gulliver Preparatory School is the sort of learning establishment that seemingly fires all their most experienced personnel when their age becomes worrisome - why would you want a bunch of ignorant young trolls educating your kids?

  • Contracts (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Martz (861209) on Sunday March 02, 2014 @02:15PM (#46382411)

    The biggest screwup here is that the father has admitted to breaking the contract by saying "we needed to tell her something", when all he needed to do was say nothing and get the schools lawyers to prove that he told his daughter about the settlement; instead of her daughter finding out by eavesdropping on a conversation, reading a letter or bank statement.

    But yes, it's more of a law story than a tech story, but I can see the Your Rights Online angle. Just.

    • by Nutria (679911)

      Or they could have told her to keep her God damned trap shut for once in her life.

      • Better yet, they should have just lied and said they lost, and put the money in the bank. If they haven't figured out after numerous years that they could not trust their daughter to keep her mouth shut about it, they got bigger problems on their hands, still to come.
      • Or they could have told her to keep her God damned trap shut for once in her life.

        The parents are to blame. They revealed a secret they were contracted to keep. Their daughter is still growing up (faster at this point, I'll bet), but they're supposed to be setting an example.

  • But... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by StripedCow (776465) on Sunday March 02, 2014 @02:15PM (#46382413)

    ...Eric Schmidt told us there should be no reason to have any secrets.

  • Gulliver obviously settled because they weren't sure about their chances to win the lawsuit, so why should he accept their terms of non-disclosure and not just see it through? It feels like he gave away a winning hand. If someone's done you wrong you'd want to tell people about it. IANAL so maybe I'm missing something.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Fishchip (1203964)
      IANAL so maybe I'm missing something.

      Yes. The law part. Are you really saying 'Because they settled they must've been in the wrong so it's OK to break the agreement they settled on'? Do you realise how even more fucked up the world would be if everyone operated like that?
    • Gulliver obviously settled because they weren't sure about their chances to win the lawsuit, so why should he accept their terms of non-disclosure and not just see it through? It feels like he gave away a winning hand. If someone's done you wrong you'd want to tell people about it. IANAL so maybe I'm missing something.

      Of course you are missing something. The guy probably _wanted_ people to know, but even more wanted to get some money. The settlement would have given him money, but no publicity. Alternative was going to court. Possibly _very_ expensive. No guarantee that you win. No guarantee that you win more than your lawyers cost. Definitely no guarantee that you win $80,000 more than your lawyers cost.

      If your lawyer told you "we can go to court and it costs us $100,000 and them $100,000; if the other side is nasty

  • And this is a big part of why.

  • by Nyder (754090) on Sunday March 02, 2014 @03:56PM (#46383153) Journal

    Since the original agreement was not to sue and not to say something, and that got broken, nothing to keep him from taking them to court and suing over the original thing. Might even work to their favor. "Well your honor, they were going to pay us off, but then didn't when word of it got leaked out via facebook."

    As for the daughter, she's 19, time for her to leave the nest and earn her own living.

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