Patrick Shay felt discriminated against for his age. He had been terminated from his position as principal at the Gulliver Preparatory School, and he alleged age discrimination as the motive behind his termination. The case settled for $80,000.
Settlement agreements are strictly confidential, and while it may seem like just a precaution, they are in place for a reason. Confidentiality of settlements prevent an oversimplified view of litigation and also protects plaintiffs, attorneys, and defendants alike from sharing the outcome with the world. In Patrick Shay's case, the consequences of violating confidentiality were severe.
Mr. Shay told his teenage daughter, Dana, about the agreed settlement. In her excitement, Dana took to Facebook and posted a status.
“Mama and Papa Shay won the case against Gulliver. Gulliver is now officially paying for my vacation to Europe this summer. SUCK IT.”
Upon discovering that Dana Shay had violated her father's confidentiality agreement, the court in Florida threw out the settlement, and subsequently, Dana's summer European vacation. So take heed. When it's confidential, it means confidential or else you might find yourself out $80,000.