Failing to do so can be very costly.
This blog is about how a Facebook post cost a family the $80,000 settlement on which they were depending because that post violated the terms of a confidential settlement.
Why A Confidential Settlement?
When a lawsuit is settled, the company agreeing to pay money to make the dispute go away wants the whole matter kept confidential. In fact, the settlement documents might well provide that the entire matter must be kept quiet.
The party being paid to settle the lawsuit or other dispute will typically be allowed to tell their tax advisors and legal counsel about the settlement but no one else.
Background on The Costly Facebook Post Case
One recent example of a clear breach of a confidential settlement agreement involves a teacher at a private school in Florida and his young adult daughter who is a student at Boston College. Patrick Snay is a 69 year old man who lost his job as the longtime headmaster at Gulliver Preparatory School in Miami, Florida when his contract was not renewed. Snay filed a lawsuit, alleging age discrimination.
Eventually, the lawsuit was settled out of court for $80,000.
However, Snay’s daughter posted a snarky Facebook status update, indicating her parents had won their lawsuit and thus Gulliver was paying for her summer trip to Europe. Apparently, the parents told their daughter but she somehow did not appreciate the importance of not sharing this secret information.
Not surprisingly, several people from the private school were Facebook friends of Ms. Snay. When the school’s administration learned about this post, their lawyers went to court to have the settlement tossed
And not surprisingly, the court agreed. So the Snays lost their $80,000 settlement – money that they are not likely to get back.
Lessons Learned The Hard Way
What is the lesson here?
When you sign a contract, you need to understand what you have agreed to do and what you have agreed not to do. Having an attorney can help you avoid any costly mistakes.
For More Information:
I came across this story on the internet at the link below: