Guilty Verdict in Linkedln Case–but no penalty!

Published on: Author: Mary Beth Gettins 2 Comments

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Back in October, we posted about the case of Eagle v. Edcomm, Inc. Here is the second recap of the facts: Eagle was founder and executive at Defendant Edcomm. Edcomm fired Eagle. Edcomm changed Eagle’s LinkedIn password and temporarily re-routed Eagle’s LinkedIn account to the newly appointed president of Edcomn. The court has now rendered its decision in this case. And, we wanted to share it with you!

 

Eagle sued Edcomn for what you ask – everything and nothing. Read the list of the claims:

Unauthorized Use of Name in Violation of 42 Pa.C.S. § 8316

• Invasion of Privacy by Misappropriation of Identity

• Misappropriation of Publicity

• Identity Theft

• Conversion

• Tortious Interference with Contract

• Civil Conspiracy

• Civil Aiding and Abetting

• Misappropriation

• Unfair Competition

Basically the game plan appeared to be suing for everything under the sun and seeing what sticks. Well, a few things stuck. This is the court’s conclusion:

The court said yes, Eagle proved her claim for:

• Unauthorized use of name in violation of 42 Pa.C.S. § 8316,

• Invasion of privacy by misappropriation of identity, and

• Misappropriation of identity,

3 out 10: A 30% result. Not a homerun. Eagle proved her case on these three, but could not prove her damages of how she was harmed by the unauthorized use of her name, invasion of her privacy, and misappropriation of her identify. How do you put a price on that? Well, she couldn’t. End result: Edcomm was proven a wrongdoer, but no damages!

What is just as interesting is the court’s dicta. The court remarked that Edcomn had no policy saying that employee LinkedIn accounts were the property of Edcomm, the employer. The court opened the door. What if there were such a policy? What if there were a policy that said employee LinkedIn accounts were the property of the Employer? Can you do that? Can an employer declare an account with the employee’s name on it theirs? The court said, “Whether such a policy would be legally valid under the contract created between LinkedIn customer and an individual user is obviously not an issue before the Court in light of the finding made in this case that no such policy existed.” Absurd idea or good business maneuver?

 

Tell us what you think? Leave a comment or email us: mbgettins@gettinslaw.com

 

2 Responses to Guilty Verdict in Linkedln Case–but no penalty! RSS Comments (RSS)

  1. Kat says:

    Very interesting case. Were they ordered to at least return the use of her own LinkedIn account?

  2. Yes. The LinkedIn account was returned to her. Social Media has created a whole new world!

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