If you’ve watched a courtroom drama, then you probably have some understanding of a confidentiality provision. In many lawsuits and settlements, part of the agreement between parties is that the details and consequences of the proceedings are to be kept confidential. Basically, if a private entity decides to settle with you over a claim, they may attach a provision that disallows you from speaking about the case. While this is usually only employed in drastic circumstances, Patrick Snay, the former head of Gulliver Preparatory School, learned the hard way that you can lose everything you’ve won if you break the agreement.
Age Discrimination, European Vacations, and Facebook
Photo by Spencer E Holtaway
When Snay’s 2010-2011 contract was not renewed by Gulliver Preparatory School, he filed an age discrimination lawsuit. To keep the matter out of court, the school agreed to pay Snay $80,000, plus $60,000 to his attorneys, and $10,000 in back pay. All he had to do was keep the news to himself. Unfortunately, Snay’s daughter had to share the good news and posted the following message for her 1,200 followers on Facebook: “Mama and Papa Snay won the case against Gulliver. Gulliver is now officially paying for my vacation to Europe this summer. SUCK IT.”
Back in Court
Photo by Simon A
Attorneys for Gulliver swiftly sent a letter to Snay explaining that he would not be receiving the settlement because he and his daughter had broken the confidentiality provision. Snay took the case to a circuit court, who enforced the settlement. But after an appeal by Gulliver, the Third District Court of Appeals in Florida decided that Snay had deliberately violated the confidentiality provision and voided the agreement.
While Snay has found work at another preparatory school in Florida, he never received his $80,000. All because of one comment on Facebook. For more information on confidentiality provisions or for a qualified personal injury attorney, contact us today.
Featured image by Karpati Gabor
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