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In a blow to personal injury plaintiffs, a state appeals court in Manhattan ruled that a defendant’s data mining expert may scour a plaintiff’s electronic devices and email and social media accounts for evidence of physical activity following a motor vehicle accident.

The ruling by the Appellate Division, First Department, came on the New York Court of Appeals’ decision last year to give a defendant access to materials from a plaintiff’s Facebook account that had been deemed private as part of discovery in a personal injury suit in which the plaintiff alleged that she was injured after she fell from the defendant’s horse.

In a signed decision in Forman v. Henkin, handed down in last February, Chief Judge Janet DiFiore wrote for a unanimous court that limiting discovery to a litigant’s public posts on Facebook runs counter to New York’s tradition of liberal discovery.

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Andrew Denney

Andrew Denney is a New York-based reporter covering litigation and other news from the federal and state courts. He can be reached at [email protected] Twitter: @messagetime

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