An important lesson was recently learned by a Florida father: do not (1) enter a settlement agreement with a confidentiality provision, (2) tell your child about the settlement, (3) permit your child to post about the settlement on social networking sites, and (4) certainly do not allow your child to tell the settling/paying party to “suck it.”
See Res Ipsa Loquitur, March 4, 2014, authored by Prof. Jonathan Turley.
Here, a father filed an age discrimination suit against his former employer, a school. The father settled and the settlement agreement contained a confidentiality agreement which only permitted him to disclose the terms of the settlement to his advisors and his spouse. It did not specifically permit disclosure to other family members. He unfortunately disclosed it to his daughter who then posted information about it on Facebook. The Florida Court of Appeals ruled that this violated the confidentiality provision and cost the father his $80,000 settlement.
The moral of the story: make sure your clients clearly understand the terms and restrictions of the confidentiality provision. A lesson worth remembering.
Submitted by Bryan Strawbridge, Krieg DeVault LLP