A Teen's Nose-Thumbing Facebook Post Costs Her Dad $80,000
The Third District Court of Appeal tossed the settlement because there was a confidentiality agreement that was part of it. Dana spilled the beans to her 1,200 Facebook friends.
The tiff between 69-year-old Patrick and the private school started in 2010. Snay had been the school's headmaster for years, but the organization declined to renew his contract. He sued, claiming age discrimination and that the school had retaliated against his daughter, who was a student there.
Eventually the two sides settled. Patrick Snay would get $10,000 in back wages. In addition, Gulliver would pay $60,000 to Snay's attorneys and an additional $80,000 settlement. Hardly Lilliputian terms, but all contingent on Patrick Snay and his wife keeping the terms of the settlement private.
It's a common type of arrangement. The side paying the money typically doesn't admit to any fault, which might be used against it in the future. Often, an organization will settle a suit and pay an often significant amount because the cost of a full trial, particularly if a win is not guaranteed, would be much more.
However, although Snay could discuss the confidentiality agreement with his wife, his daughter was not included, according to Newsy. And even if she had been included, the younger Snay was certainly not at liberty to discuss the situation with 1,200 of her closest and dearest Facebook friends.
According to the Herald, the post read: "Gulliver is now officially paying for my vacation to Europe this summer. SUCK IT."
The reference to a European vacation was apparently a joke, but not one that the school found amusing when word got back. It didn't help that the deal had just been signed, according to CNN, and that many of Dana Snay's friends were former and current students at Gulliver.
Gulliver told the family that the deal was breached, according to Newsy, and that it wouldn't pay. The senior Snay claimed that he had to tell his daughter because of "psychological scars" she had suffered from "retaliation" by the school when she was attending, "which forced me to put her into therapy," he told CNN.
Patrick Snay and his lawyers headed back to district court and won. But the school appealed and won. As the court wrote:
Snay violated the agreement by doing exactly what he had promised not to do. His daughter then did precisely what the confidentiality agreement was designed to prevent, advertising to the Gulliver community that Snay had been successful in his age discrimination and retaliation case against the school.
Based on the clear and unambiguous language of the parties' agreement and Snay's testimony confirming his breach of its terms, we reverse the order entered below granting the Snays' motion to enforce the agreement.
Snay is now the headmaster of the Riviera Preparatory School in Coral Gables, Florida. And his daughter? Probably learning the value of silence.
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