Daughter’s Facebook Post Costs Her Father $80,000 Settlement
We’ve all been told to watch what we post on Facebook, as you never know what may come back to haunt you. Unfortunately, Dana Snay learned this the hard way. Her father has now been denied an $80,000 settlement he won in an age-discrimination lawsuit after his daughter took to the social media platform to boast about his victory.
Patrick Snay, 69, is the former headmaster of the Gulliver Preparatory School in Miami, Florida. In 2010, when his employment contract was not renewed, Snay sued the school for age-discrimination. Snay was victorious in the lawsuit and was awarded an $80,000 settlement in November 2011. According to CNN, he was also awarded $10,000 in back pay, with another $60,000 paid to Snay’s attorneys.
Like most lawsuits of this nature, the agreement included a standard confidentiality clause that prohibited Snay or the school from discussing the case. But before any checks were cashed, Dana Snay went on Facebook to brag about her parents’ victory to her 1,200 friends.
Mama and Papa Snay won the case against Gulliver. Gulliver is now officially paying for my vacation to Europe this summer. SUCK IT.”
Of Snay’s friends to read the post, many were current and former Gulliver students. Word of Snay’s boastful message spread quickly before meeting the eyes of school officials. Shortly thereafter, Gulliver Schools sent a letter to Snay’s attorneys accusing him of breaking the confidentiality agreement and stating that he would no longer be receiving his settlement.
Snay filed a motion to enforce the settlement and won in a Circuit Court ruling. The school then appealed. A hearing was held to determine if his daughter's knowledge of the settlement and her Facebook post had violated the confidentiality agreement.
According to depositions obtained by the Miami Herald, Snay and his wife agreed to disclose the details of the settlement with their daughter because she suffered “psychological scars” as a result of her time at Gulliver. Dana, who had recently graduated Gulliver at the time of the incident, is now enrolled at Boston College.
The Third District Court of Appeal for the State of Florida found that Snay did, in fact, violate the confidentiality agreement, and reversed the Circuit Court ruling.
According to the Third District Court of Appeal for the State of Florida, “Snay violated the agreement by doing exactly what he had promised not to do. His daughter then did precisely what the confidentiality agreement was designed to prevent, advertising to the Gulliver community that Snay had been successful in his age discrimination and retaliation case against the school.
“Based on the clear and unambiguous language of the parties' agreement and Snay's testimony confirming his breach of its terms, we reverse the order entered below granting the Snays' motion to enforce the agreement.”
Patrick Snay is now the headmaster at Riviera Preparatory Academy in Coral Gables, Florida. Should he choose, Snay can file a motion for rehearing and appeal to the Florida Supreme Court.