Our Casualty Claim Department works closely with a hand-selected panel of outside law firms who possess a unique understanding of the high net worth environment. We collaborate with these firms to tackle difficult and important legal issues to provide the most vigorous defense of insureds as possible. Here’s an example of a recent case:
One of our panel firms appeared before the New York Court of Appeals to challenge the standard for the release of Facebook information. The plaintiff alleged that our client was negligent in maintaining his horse tack, which resulted in a traumatic brain injury when the plaintiff fell from his horse. Additionally, the plaintiff alleged that due to the injury she could no longer participate in many of the activities she previously enjoyed, including sending/receiving text messages, posting on Facebook and socializing. Our client denied all allegations.
When questioned at her deposition, the plaintiff testified that she posted frequently on Facebook before the accident, but was either unable or unwilling to testify about her post-accident Facebook activity. Her account was deactivated shortly after filing the lawsuit. We had strong reason to believe these allegations were inaccurate, so we made a demand to access her Facebook account to challenge her claims. The trial court agreed and required the plaintiff to disclose all non-romantic photographs from her private Facebook account and to provide an authorization for Facebook to disclose the number of posts made post-accident and the text count of those posts.
After a successful appeal from the plaintiff, our client’s defense team again petitioned the Court of Appeals and our case was accepted for argument. Just recently, the Court of Appeals agreed by a 7-0 vote that the plaintiff’s photos can be disclosed.
As this case continues to unfold, we remain committed to protecting and defending our client. Our team, in partnership with panel counsel members, has gone to all lengths necessary to investigate this claim, as we do with all others filed against our insureds.