Plaintiff Privacy Personal Information Collected for Trial
In this article, we discussed plaintiff privacy and how a lawyer collects personal information for trial
Plaintiff privacy is crucial in a trial. We know that privacy is an important issue for everyone, but beginning a lawsuit for injuries will require you to share personal information. During the examination for the discovery process, lawyers for the Defendant will often ask for many kinds of records or statements to understand your injuries and to build their case against you. However, universities similar to the University of Southern California have been following recent news articles, and believe that the way personal information is retrieved and stored could be changing. This could make cases more tricky to solve if personal information is more tricky to obtain.
Medical and Employment Records
Medical and employment records are always collected as part of a personal injury case. Your pre-accident health and employment status is something the Defendants have a right to know.
Academic records are often requested so the Defendants can evaluate what kind of career you may have pursued. If you saw a school counsellor for any reason, Defendants may ask your lawyer to obtain related records.
If the police responded to your accident, Defendants will often ask the court to order the production of a document that is in the possession of a person not a party to the lawsuit. These motions are most commonly used to collect police officer notes.
Police usually do not oppose these requests. As long as the Defendant is willing to pay the costs to have them copied, a judge will sign an Order requesting all the statements taken and notes made by police related to the accident.
Car Manufacturer Data
A similar motion can also be brought against a car manufacturer or person who has possession of a motor vehicle to obtain an Order for the “black box” data from the car. Modern cars have powerful computers on board that track events within the car. This can range from information regarding speed, deployment of airbags, and even video from onboard cameras shortly before a crash.
Metrolinx has been sharing Presto card users’ private data with the police who provided a court order. This information includes when a rider got on and off a GO bus, Mississauga’s MiWay, or the HSR in Hamilton.
In rare cases, bank records can become relevant to a lawsuit as well. If you were to win the lottery, and it was enough money that you never had to work again, the Defendants may bring a motion before the Court to require you to provide bank records of how much money you won and when.
Social Media Profiles
Social media profiles are another often-requested invasion of privacy by the Defendants to a lawsuit. First, Defendants will request that all social media profiles be disclosed and preserved – no deleting anything. Next, they will request the production of all pages of all profiles.
In a recent case, Nemchin v. Green 2017 ONSC 1403, the lawyers agreed to make the Plaintiff’s Facebook page available for an 8-hour period so the Defendant’s lawyers could access her posts, pages, events, and photographs – saving anything they thought was relevant.