Facebook posts and pictures a truck driver made have been used against him in a lawsuit stemming from a crash that occurred three years ago.
Shortly after midnight on May 5, 2011, truck driver Jerry O’Reilly and car driver Kristin Meredith were both heading west on Interstate 285 in Fulton County, Georgia when O’Reilly attempted to change lanes and clipped the driver’s side of Meredith’s sedan. The impact caused Meredith’s car to roll several times.
Meredith was forced to undergo surgery to fuse vertebrae in her lower back, the Daily Report states.
In April 2013, Meredith filed a lawsuit in the DeKalb County State Court against O’Reilly, his employer, Try Hours, and the insurance company, National Interstate Insurance Co., claiming O’Reilly was negligent and reckless. Meredith was seeking $$75,000 in compensation for her injuries, plus punitive damages.
The case was heard in the North District of Georgia federal court.
“The pivotal moment in the case occurred during a videotaped deposition of O’Reilly at his attorneys’ office last October, said Brodhead. During questioning, O’Reilly at first denied using a camera, phone or computer while driving, but he later admitted to taking photos while driving after Brodhead presented him with dozens of posts captured from O’Reilly’s Facebook profile,” the Daily Report states.
The pictures appeared to have been taken from inside the cab of the truck. Once caption read, “My new bumper. Now pull your ass out in front of me.” In another, O’Reilly commented below someone else’s photo of a sedan boxed in by big rigs, “I’ve been there and done that also. I don’t get mad. I get even.”
However, none of the photos or comments used against O’Reilly were posted at the time of the accident.
Attorney’s argued that the Facebook posts displayed a “pattern of distracted driving.”
The case didn’t go to trial. All parties agreed on a settlement.
Meredith was awarded $1 million.