Parents of 12 year-old dog bite victim sue insurance company and defense firm that accessed her Facebook postings

In 2009 Caeliegh Cope, a minor, filed a lawsuit in the Geauga County (Ohio) Court of Common Pleas alleging that a relative's dog bit cope and caused her to suffer severe and paremanent injuries.  The dog owner's insurance company, State Auto, retained the Law Offices of Kerns & Proe to represent the defendant dog owner.

According to a second suit filed last week against the insurance company, law firm, and others, Cope alleges that the insurance company and law firm hired a private investigator to pose as one of Cope's friends for the purpose of sending a friend request to Cope.  Cope accepted the friend request and, according to the lawsuit, the investigator proceeded to access, view, duplicate and disseminate at least 1,000 posted messages between Cope and her friends, and at least 221 pictures of Cope and her other minor friends.  At the time the investigator accessed the Facebook page, Cope was only 12 years of age.  According to the suit, the investigator shared this information with State Auto and its attorneys in order to assist in defending their lawsuit.

Cope, on behalf of her parents, seeks damages based on intentional infliction of emotional distress, civil conspiracy, and violations of the federal Stored Communications Act.  Cope is represented by Brian Spitz and Fred Bean of The Spitz Law Firm, LLC.  For more information see Caeleigh Cope v. Steven D. Prince, et al., CV 12 781824 (Ct. of Common Pleas, Cuyahoga County, Ohio).