It all began in 2010, when Patrick Snay was fired from his position as headmaster at Gulliver Prep, a private Miami high school. He sued, alleging age discrimination and retaliation against his daughter Dana, who was still a student at the time.
But just a few days after he settled the suit for $80,000 plus attorneys' fees, he told his daughter, he explained later, because she had "suffered psychological scars" as a Gulliver student.
Apparently unclear on the definition of "confidential," the teenager posted a snarky Facebook update about the secret settlement:
"Mama and Papa Snay won the case against Gulliver. Gulliver is now officially paying for my vacation to Europe this summer. SUCK IT."
The Facebook post, displayed to the teen's 1,200 online friends—many of them current students—quickly made its way back to Gulliver's attorneys.
And last week, a court of appeals ruled that the school would no longer have to pay because the Facebook post violated the $80,000 settlement's confidentiality agreement.
"Snay violated the agreement by doing exactly what he had promised not to do," wrote Judge Linda Ann Wells. "His daughter then did precisely what the confidentiality agreement was designed to prevent."
Snay can still appeal the case to Florida's Supreme Court, but his chances of winning the $80,000 back are low.