Patrick Snay, the 69-year-old former head of Gulliver Preparatory School in Florida, just lost more than his job – due to a post on Facebook, made by his own daughter. When Snay’s job contract was not renewed in 2010, he filed an age-discrimination lawsuit against the institution. In a settlement, Snay was granted a nice chunk of “dough” in the amount of $80,000. Of course, as with most contractual agreements involving a pay out, there was an expected element of confidentiality between the two parties. Apparently, a breach of that confidentiality cost Snay the whole kit and caboodle, when his daughter decided to rave about the situation on social media, using very choice words. The deal between Snay and the Preparatory School was struck in 2011. Not too long after that, Patrick Snay’s daughter who attended Gulliver herself, decided to brag about the outcome of the settlement on Facebook. Her boisterous outburst included the statement: “Gulliver is now officially paying for my vacation to Europe this summer. SUCK IT.”
This “SUCK IT” post, which made the rounds on social media, eventually ended up in the hands of Gulliver Preparatory School and it’s attorneys. That’s when the initial settlement began to fall apart. As far as the school was concerned, Patrick Snay had broken the confidentiality clause, which stipulated he could only disclose details of the deal to his wife and legal counsel. The school then refused to pay the agreed upon settlement of 80k as a result of the daughter’s post on Facebook.
According to Snay, he and his wife had initially attempted to keep their daughter from learning the specific details of the case. However, Snay felt she needed to be told “something.” Snay alleged that his daughter was actually facing personal ramifications at school due to the ongoing legal issue, even suffering “psychological scars.” At one point, Snay claims his daughter even required therapy.
At first, Snay was able to a get an enforcement of the settlement by the courts. An appeal was then quickly filed on behalf of Gulliver Preparatory School. The case was eventually brought to a hearing. It was ruled, only days ago, that Snay did in fact cause a breach of confidentiality and created a scenario that the original legal documents of the case intended to prevent. The Third District Court of Appeal for the State of Florida stated that the former head of Gulliver: “…violated the agreement by doing exactly what he had promised not to do…”
Snay’s daughter had not only aided in the breach of confidentiality, but had done so on a mass level. This inappropriate action was not simply a matter of sharing gossip with a few friends. Apparently, the daughter’s post immediately reached her roughly 1,200 Facebook friends. On social media sites like Facebook, the buck never stops there – with popular sentiments reposting, sometimes, almost endlessly. The school and its attorneys were certain to learn of the Snay ‘SUCK IT’ post before long. As a result, not only is Patrick Snay out of 80k, his daughter’s vacation was most likely postponed.
By Josh Taub