Teen's Facebook brag costs dad $80,000 lawsuit settlement

A photo of Facebook's sign-up page. Some things are better left unposted

When Dana Snay learned her father had been awarded a cash settlement in an age-discrimination lawsuit against his former employer, the Miami-based Gulliver Preparatory School, she couldn't resist bragging about it.

"Mama and Papa Snay won the case against Gulliver," the teen posted to her 1,200 Facebook friends. "Gulliver is now officially paying for my vacation to Europe this summer. SUCK IT."

Start Quote

Remember when all you had to worry about was your daughter posting naked selfies of herself on Facebook?”

End Quote Elie Mystal Above the Law

It was a bit of boasting that could end up costing the Snays the entire $80,000 (£47,750) settlement, reports the Miami Herald.

When Gulliver got wind of post, which didn't take long, as Dana was a former student, the school refused to pay a dime because the father had signed a confidentiality agreement - and on Wednesday a Florida appeals court found in its favour.

The story has writers drawing conclusions about the foolishness of today's youth and the perils of social media.

Elie Mystal on the blog Above the Law calls it "a new low for the Millennial generation".

"Remember when all you had to worry about was your daughter posting naked selfies of herself on Facebook?" he writes. "Now, things are worse."

Slate's Katy Waldman has a message for her contemporaries:

What can we learn from their misfortune, fellow millennials? Do not boast. Do not mess with attorneys. Do not over-share on social media, especially when you're not even going on a European vacation. (Snay was joking.)

The story isn't necessarily over, however.

The father can appeal the ruling to the Florida Supreme Court. Of course, the longer this drags on, the more of that settlement money will likely be eaten up by lawyers.

The hypothetical European vacation may end up becoming a long weekend in Key West - assuming the daughter isn't grounded for life.

Eric B Meyer of the Employer Handbook blog takes a closer look at the applicable law.

"Honestly, I'm surprised that the court enforced such a large penalty provision in the settlement agreement," he writes. "But, then again, the violation - broadcasting the existence of the agreement to 1200 people - is fairly egregious."

He concludes: "That's why, when I draft a settlement agreement, I often include confidentiality language warning that keeping quiet about the agreement means shutting your yap and your social media fingers."

So "confidentiality" means not telling anyone, including your friend, Mr Facebook. Good tip.



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  • rate this

    Comment number 73.

    Such an embarrassing public airing for this family - public domain so everybody getting a word/opinion. Will the plaintiff ever work in education again? Trust that the SC appeal will at least mandate the settlement by this school. If not, perhaps an appeal to the authorities to charge the school under Florida statute and then a damages claim is the answer? Statute 760 - Article 760.07

  • rate this

    Comment number 72.

    The kid sounds like a spoilt brat! Maybe her father should send her to a summer camp where she should learn some good grace?

  • rate this

    Comment number 71.

    Is this article in breach of the confidentiality agreement as well?

    How far do these agreements go? How do you explain to your wife where all the money came from that has just landed in your joint bank account?

    Can the dad sue the child as he didn't break the agreement unless telling your family is a breach, which seems unreasonable to me?

  • rate this

    Comment number 70.

    To anyone to condemns these agreements I'd like to say one thing; Nobody is forcing you to sign them. If you are being coerced to do that, you should obviously fight it. However, if that is not the case, then why agree to it in the first place?

    We should never hear of those occasions when an agreement like this actually helped someone, there is a very good reason: because it is protecting them.

  • rate this

    Comment number 69.

    The court should have found in his favour since he wasn't the one shooting his fat mouth off on FB.


Comments 5 of 73


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