In today’s world of ever expanding data sources, we are constantly being faced with the question of proportionality. We are seeing requests that ask for such wide ranges such as “all Facebook and other social media postings” in Scott v United Postal Service (M.D. La. Dec 27, 2016). The courts have recently taken a stance on shutting down these requests without proper justification based on Rule 26(b)(1).
In this personal injury suit, the defendant, USPS, and the plaintiff, Scott, got into an e-discovery argument over the production of the plaintiff’s social media data. In most personal personal injury suits, the defendants want to know if the plaintiff’s personal injury claim is valid based on her physical activity following the accident. This would usually be easily identified by a particular time frame or date range.
The defendant request of the plaintiff to provide and identify an extensive amount of social media data including “all postings related to any type of physical or athletic activities…on all social media websites.” Additionally, the plaintiff contended that the defendant waived their right to object based on their failure to respond to their discovery requests in a timely fashion.
The plaintiff acknowledged that social media content is discoverable, but argues that the defendant’s request is “overly broad because it will require the production of a significant amount of irrelevant information.”