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.