I recently published an article here about potential “Facebook” liability for EMS providers. I ran across a news story the other day that provides yet another illustration of the trouble that can ensue when you combine a paramedic with a camera (or camera phone), Family Sues Facebook Over Death Photo .
A young woman in New York was murdered. One of the paramedics who responded to the scene photographed her corpse and posted the image on Facebook. The woman’s family has filed a wrongful death suit against the murderer, who was caught and convicted, but they are also suing Facebook, the paramedic and the City of New York.
The paramedic pled guilty to disorderly conduct and was sentenced to community service. He also lost his job as a New York Fire Department EMT. Now, he and the city face potential civil liability as well.
As I discussed in my first post on “Facebook” liability, there is always the possibility a rogue employee will do something crazy despite clear written policies regarding these matters. But your best defense is a clear written policy regarding the taking and publishing of scene photographs on social media sites.