One man found out that what he said in a lawsuit could be used against him. I’m Amy E. Feldman.
A man who’d sued his employer later worked out an amicable settlement and voluntarily moved to dismiss the claim. But what he said he didn’t realize when he filed the case, was that the court documents would remain publicly available even after settlement. So, now when anyone googles his name, the case is the first thing that anyone sees—including future employers (not to mention potential dates). The man said that there should be a warning for people filing lawsuits just like there’s a Miranda warning given during an arrest to tell people that what they say in a lawsuit can be seen, and might be used against them. He filed a motion asking to seal the record. But the court just rejected his motion, saying that once a matter is brought before a court for resolution, it is no longer solely the parties’ case—it’s also the public’s. While the court won’t warn you of this, you should know—settling a lawsuit does not prevent people from finding it.