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Social Media Investigations Prove Useful in Zimmerman v. Weis Markets

January 12, 2021

Our Social Media Investigators Explain This Important Case

An estimated 244 million people in the United States use some form of social media to document their lives. Social media can be a powerful tool during litigation and trials. In some cases, social media investigations can uncover insurance fraud.

Below, our social media investigators discuss one such case and how social media investigations played an integral part in the discovery process. Continue reading to learn more about how social media posts factored into Zimmerman v. Weis Markets, Inc, a case involving an insurance claim.

Zimmerman v. Weis Markets, Inc: Social Media Investigations and Insurance Fraud

The plaintiff in the case, Zimmerman, suffered an injury while operating a forklift at Weis Markets’ warehouse. According to the plaintiff, he lost wages, future earning capacity and suffered an embarrassing scar that left him permanently impaired. He claimed the injury resulted in a loss of enjoyment in life.

The defendant, Weis Markets, began a social media investigation into Zimmerman’s public Facebook and MySpace profiles. They uncovered that he enjoyed “riding” and “bike stunts” often. There were even photographs of Zimmerman with a black eye and a motorcycle both before and after his accident. Additionally, there were photographs of the plaintiff wearing shorts. In his deposition, he claimed he never wore shorts because of the embarrassment from the scar.

Weis Markets believed that Zimmerman’s private social media accounts would contain more relevant information regarding his damage claims. According to Weis Markets, Zimmerman’s privacy interests did not outweigh the need to obtain crucial discovery material. The court agreed and ordered Zimmerman to turn over the login information for his private accounts and not to alter existing information on those accounts.

Social Media Takeaways from Zimmerman v. Weis Markets, Inc.

The discovery process is a critical step in litigation. Social media posts may increasingly factor into the discovery process. Many people mistakenly believe what they post on social media is private. However, as we learned from Zimmerman v. Weis Markets, Inc, this is not always the case.

What litigants post on social media can find its way into the courtroom. It is important to note that Facebook’s own privacy policy states that users’ content may become publicly available. No true expectation of privacy exists. Even with privacy settings maxed out, lawyers may seek the right to use social media posts, pictures and other information in court to help them build a case.

What is a major takeaway from Zimmerman v. Weis Markets, Inc? With the right team of social media investigators, you might uncover evidence needed to build a strong case for your client.

Contact Our Social Media Investigators

Bosco Legal Services, Inc. provides a wide range of investigation services to law firms, insurance companies and businesses nationwide.

We can help strengthen your case and prevent insurance fraud through an extensive social media investigation. Call us at (877) 353-8281 or contact us online to learn more about our services. You can also submit a job form to get started.