Facebook and other social media sites are designed for simplicity, and it's not hard to mindlessly post a statement without giving it much thought. Let this woman's story be a warning that there can be some serious consequences for what you post. After posting just one sentence about a former co-worker on Facebook- a post that didn't even mention the woman by name- cost one North Carolina native $500,000 in settlement fees.
A few years back, Jacqueline Hammond posted "I didn't get drunk and kill my kid," in reference to her former colleague, Davyne Dial. According to the complaint, this comment was in reference to Dial's son who had died in a gun accident involving another child in 1976. Because Dial was not drunk when the accident occurred or responsible for her son's death, she could sue hammond for libel, which is writing a statement that is slanderous or false. After a two-years, the lawsuit was settle and Hammond owes Dial a whopping $250,000 for actual damages — a.k.a. the emotional distress and defamation — and another $250,000 for punitive damages.
This unfortunate situation is a lesson to all to take a step back and think before you post, because once something is posted on the Internet, even if you delete it, is imprinted online forever.