Judge orders plaintiff to turn over Facebook passwords and cell phone

By Christina Stueve Hodges | Mar 4, 2013

Judge Matoesian

Madison County Circuit Judge Andreas Matoesian on March 4 ordered plaintiffs in a personal injury suit to surrender cell phone, personal computer and Facebook information to the defendant in a lawsuit over a 2007 shooting in Bethalto.

Defense attorney Jane Unsell filed a motion to compel the “turn-over of plaintiff’s cell phone, personal computer and entry to Facebook information” on Feb. 14.

The plaintiffs have 30 days to comply, according to today's order. A trial had been scheduled to start March 11, but was continued and set on the case management docket.

According to the motion filed by Unsell, plaintiff Chad McCoy claimed he suffered post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) from the shooting incident.

Kevin and Chad McCoy are suing James Ferando for allegedly discharging a firearm multiple times in their direction. They seek damages of at least $15,000 for each of their suit’s two counts, plus the costs of the lawsuit.

According to the complaint, the McCoys were riding in their cars near the intersection of Bethalto and Texas boulevards in Bethalto on Sept. 24, 2007.

Ferando allegedly fired multiple shots at the two men “recklessly and carelessly,” the lawsuit claims.

The plaintiffs say they suffered severe emotional distress and loss of a normal life as a result of the incident. Their first amended complaint adds “physical symptoms” to the suit’s emotional distress claims.

Unsell claims the plaintiff’s Facebook information shows Chad McCoy is not suffering the injuries he claims to have suffered.

Plaintiff’s attorney Joseph Brown asked Matoesian to extend the discovery cutoff of Feb. 15, so the plaintiff can disclose additional witnesses regarding their observations of Chad McCoy.

Chad McCoy filed an objection to the defendant’s motion to compel, Feb. 15, stating the defendant is seeking to conduct discovery beyond the discovery cutoff prior to trial, and her request would require a continuance of the case and would be prejudicial to the plaintiff.

Ferando has denied the plaintiff’s claims in his answer to the suit. He has asked the court to throw out the suit.

Ferndo admits he believed in firing his gun that he was “defending his person against the plaintiff,” but denies other remaining allegations.

“Defendant admits he had a duty of care for the safety of all persons on his property but denies violating said duty,” court documents say.

The case is Madison case number 09-L-306.

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