Court won’t let jury see plaintiff’s trial-victory prediction on Facebook

Oh, come on! What fun is that?

What did the plaintiff say and why won’t the court allow the defendants to present it as evidence at trial? Find out after the jump…

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Four months after getting terminated from his job, Allan Thomas went on Facebook and bragged about how, when his Americans with Disabilities Act lawsuit with his former employer was over, he’d either own the company or retire. #humblebrag

Below is the full exchange:

Mr. Welch: Hey boy, you and Fred patch things up? If not you got something else lined up? I hope you do, and you will. Hope you’re doin well my friend.

Mr. Thomas: HELL NO! I,M SUING THE CRAP OUT OF HIM BUDDY! I won’t ever go back to work for him. I actually just got back from a shut down job in Monticello Miss. I guess I’m going to do that fora while until something I like with good money comes up. Or until my lawsuit is finalized and then at that point I’ll either own home appliance or retire. My lawyer said Fred is going to “SH*T” when he gets the law suit and the 40K of unpaid over time was chump change to the lawyers compared to the lawsuit amount so I’m guessing this law suit is going to be in the $000k figures so we will see.

After Mr. Thomas produced the post in discovery, he filed a motion with the Court to preclude the defendants from using it at trial.

Now, the defendants argued that the post should be shown to the jury because it is relevant to the plaintiff’s claims and their defenses. Specifically, they argued relevance because it allegedly displayed the plaintiff’s hostility toward the defendants — albeit four months after he lost his job. Also, something about credibility and his financial motivations in bringing the lawsuit.

Well, to the plaintiff’s credit, he agreed with the defendants about his $$$ motives — last time I checked, that’s why folks file lawsuits. The plaintiff further argued that his so-called hostile comments showed nothing more than “the displeasure that is common after someone is terminated.”

And the court agreed (opinion here), concluding that the plaintiff’s hostility towards the defendants months after his termination bore no relationship to the hostility he may (or may not) have displayed at work in the time leading up to his termination — allegedly for his hostile/disrespectful attitude.

Ultimately, while the court conceded that the the full post could marginally bear on the plaintiff’s disability claim, it determined that the prejudicial effect of the conversation would outweigh any probative value. Therefore, the court made it off limits for trial.

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