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Facebook photo costs IBM employee insurance

IDG News Service | Nov. 24, 2009
A Quebec-based IBM employee who's on long term sick leave was quoted in media reports as saying that she lost her long-term disability benefits because of photos she posted on Facebook.

HONG KONG, 23 NOVEMBER 2009 - A Quebec-based IBM employee who's on long term sick leave was quoted in media reports as saying that she lost her long-term disability benefits because of photos she posted on Facebook.

According to a report by Canadian Press Sunday, the Quebec woman, Nathalie Blanchard said an insurance agent told her that the long-term disability cheques were terminated after photos of her Facebook grabbed the Manulife's attention.

The report said the woman, 29, has been on leave since Valentine's Day 2008 from her job at IBM in Bromont, Quebec because of severe depression.

"We would not deny or terminate a valid claim solely based on information published on websites such as Facebook," Manulife was quoted as saying in a statement.

Blanchard was quoted as saying that she doesn't regret the photos posted and it was poor form for the insurance company to diagnose her depression as being cured using the photographs.

The report quotes her as saying that she also has no issue with the photos allegedly used against her, including ones showing her at a Chippendales bar show, at her birthday party, and on a beach holiday.

"I'm not going to put pictures of myself crying on Facebook," Blanchard was quoted as saying in the report.

Her lawyer, Tom Lavin, was quoted as saying in the report that a civil suit was filed in Quebec Superior Court on Friday and the next court date in the case is Dec 8.

According to the report, he said Manulife's actions are totally inappropriate and is seeking $275,000 for his client.

 

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