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Man loses $80K settlement over daughter’s Facebook brag
From sore winner to surprise loser.
When Dana Snay learned that her dad, Patrick Snay, had won $80,000 in an age discrimination lawsuit against Gulliver Preparatory School, a Florida institution where he had been headmaster, she was elated. So she did a smug little victory dance on Facebook.
“Mama and Papa Snay won the case against Gulliver,” the Boston College student and part-time Starbucks barista said in a status update. “Gulliver is now officially paying for my vacation to Europe this summer. SUCK IT.” You can probably guess what happened next, given that this is social media: 1,200 friends (and former classmates at Gulliver) read what she had written. It was only a matter of time before the post became legal leverage.
What Dana may not have known, and her father certainly should have, was that the settlement’s terms forbade Snay to reveal, well, the terms of the settlement. Maybe he figured his daughter would be more discreet, but in any case, her gloating prompted Gulliver’s lawyers to withhold the agreed-upon sum. Snay then won a ruling to uphold the settlement, but when the school appealed that decision, they won: no payout, no Europe.
“Snay violated the agreement by doing exactly what he had promised not to do,” said Judge Linda Ann Wells, according to the Miami Herald. “His daughter then did precisely what the confidentiality agreement was designed to prevent.” Even if the vacation line was a joke, as Dana later claimed, it had cost the family dearly. A sad ending for a case with merit, especially as it involved the school’s direct retaliation against Dana for the suit itself.
The best revenge is living well—just don’t rub it in.
Miles Klee is a novelist and web culture reporter. The former editor of the Daily Dot’s Unclick section, Klee’s essays, satire, and fiction have appeared in Lapham’s Quarterly, Vanity Fair, 3:AM, Salon, the Awl, the New York Observer, the Millions, and the Village Voice. He's the author of two odd books of fiction, 'Ivyland' and 'True False.'