I discussed yesterday the case in which an employee’s daughter disclosed the settlement amount and caused a settlement agreement proceeds to be returned to the employer. See my post here. Now, I see the Florida court of appeals decision here. From the decision, it appears that the case was indeed dismissed. The plaintiff had to give up his $80,000 because his daughter "blabbed" on Facebook. The lawyer still received his $60,000 amount for attorney’s fees. And, Mr. Snay did still receive the amount of $10,000 in lost wages. So, yes, indeed, Patrick Snay lost both his $80,000 and his lawsuit.
And under the terms of this rather onerous confidentiality clause, the appellate decision is probably correct. I have never seen a confidentiality clause that would still result in a dismissal of the suit if the plaintiff disclosed the terms of the settlement.
Some folks have asked why agree to a confidentiality clause, at all? Most employees who settle a discrimination claim have been out of work for months or years. They need money asap. They do not fuss over things like confidentiality clauses. Perhaps, now a few will pause when they realize how easily the terms of a settlement agreement can be publicized, these days. Facebook has changed many things for many people.
The plaintiff apparently had a brief time in which he could have backed out of the settlement agreement – after he knew his daughter had violated the agreement. But, he chose to gamble on the court agreeing his speaking to his daughter was not a breach. He gambled wrong.
Not a good day for Mr. Snay or his daughter.