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Social Media Used to Defeat Multi-Million Dollar Claim
In Beccaria v. Caruana, Claire Rush was able to exploit social media to effectively defeat a multi million dollar claim for personal injuries, lost earnings and loss of publicity. Plaintiff, an internationally acclaimed Italian fashion designer, claimed to have sustained serious personal injuries, lost income of $500,000 and lost publicity of approximately $4,000,000,00 as a result of injuries she sustained in a November 2004 automobile accident. Plaintiff maintained that she marketed her fashion line in New York directly to high worth customers “using her charisma and special appeal” through events and personal appearances organized directly by her retailers and through direct selling via trunk shows. She claimed that as a result of the injuries sustained in this incident, she was unable to leave her New York hotel room for a month and was unable to attend to her normal business and social activities for almost one year. The Honorable George Silver of Supreme Court, New York County denied prior defense counsel’s motion to dismiss these claims and set this matter down for trial. See, Beccaria v. Caruana, Sup. NY, Index No.100789/07.
In the course of preparing this matter for trial, Ms. Rush, a born and raised New Yorker, conducted her own search of New York society media sites and discovered that the plaintiff had in fact attended the very types of social functions she had testified that she was unable to attend. Ms. Rush was able to document plaintiff’s attendance at four publicity events in New York City within two weeks after her accident. In addition, she obtained numerous photographs of the plaintiff looking uninjured and quite happy with various high profile members of New York’s social elite. When confronted with this evidence, plaintiff’s counsel agreed to settle the claim against Ms. Rush’s client for the $25,000.00 that had been previously offered and rejected.