The case went to trial on Monday of this week. When the SCDOT would not remove their ban, he filed a lawsuit claiming his 1st amendment rights were violated. “Our first day of trial went really well for us,” he said. “That evening, SCDOT called requesting a settlement.”
He said the agency deleted his comment and banned him from their Facebook page. “Something has to be done about this” Large pothole causes firetruck to bottom out
Fernandez is a lawyer. “You know, one: why did you ban it? It was not inflammatory and you’re a government agency silencing me for disagreeing with your conduct. I was unconstitutional,” he said. “The SCDOT made a video on Facebook talking about how they repair potholes, and I disagreed with the content of their video. I told them so in a post,” said Fernandez.
“The legal landscape around the use and management of social media platforms is constantly evolving as well as the technology itself. As stated recently by the US Supreme Court, today’s digital social media platforms provide avenues for historically unprecedented amounts of speech. SCDOT engages in the use of social media to provide information to the public and in 2018, SCDOT was involved in a first amendment dispute involving social media comments. After recent negotiations, a settlement was agreed to by both parties in this particular case acknowledging no liability, no wrongdoing or otherwise by the South Carolina Department of Transportation. The SCDOT’s Secretary of Transportation, Christy Hall, sent us a statement regarding the lawsuit and settlement:
Lowcountry man files lawsuit against SCDOT over Facebook ban They agreed to pay him $315,000 to settle the case. He said after paying his lawyer, he will donate the rest of the money to the Whitesville Rural Fire Department.
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