The New York Court of Appeals has issued an unequivocal declaration that even materials deemed “private” by a Facebook user are subject to discovery, if they contain material relevant to the issues in controversy in litigation. In the decision, the court also reiterates general principles of liberal discovery applicable to all cases and controversies, not just those involving social media material.

Facts and Procedural History

The case is Forman v. Henkin, 2018 N.Y. Slip Op 01015, a unanimous decision, issued by the  court on Feb. 13, 2018. Forman is a personal injury case in which plaintiff claims injuries after she fell from a horse owned by defendant. Plaintiff claims spine and traumatic brain injuries which caused cognitive deficits, memory loss, problems writing, and social isolation.

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