While social media has had many positive impacts, it can also come with some costly consequences. For Omiesha Daniels, these consequences totaled $95,000.00.
In 2011, Ms. Daniels suffered a concussion and a broken right arm as a result of a car accident with a refrigeration company van. Ms. Daniels sued the refrigeration company claiming, among other things, that her injured arm prevented her from doing her job as a hair stylist, and asked for damages between $1.1 million and $1.3 million arising from the accident, including $800,000.00 for pain and suffering and $300,000.00 for diminished earning capacity.
During trial, the refrigeration company showed the jury several messages and pictures Ms. Daniels posted on Twittter. These tweets included a comment that she was “starting to love [her] scar” and a picture of Ms. Daniels carrying a handbag with her injured arm.
Although the jury originally awarded her $237,000.00 in damages, the jury reduced the amount to $142,000.00 – allegedly because of the infamous tweets.
At the end of the day, Ms. Daniels’ seemingly harmless tweets cost her $95,000.00: a not-so-gentle reminder that what happens online stays online.
While this lawsuit involved an individual, it also serves to remind businesses everywhere why it is smart to have a good social media policy in place for employees. For more information regarding employment policies or handbooks, including social media policies, please contact the attorneys at Briskin, Cross & Sanford, LLC.