Snapchat Fentanyl Lawsuit Allowed To Proceed By Judge


A lawsuit against Snapchat, blaming the social media company for a series of fentanyl overdoses among young people, has been allowed to proceed by a Los Angeles judge. The lawsuit, filed by family members of children and teens who overdosed on fentanyl, accuses Snap of facilitating illicit drug deals on its platform.

Key Takeaway

A lawsuit against Snapchat, alleging the facilitation of illegal drug deals resulting in fentanyl overdoses, has been allowed to proceed by a Los Angeles judge. The case raises questions about the legal responsibility of social media platforms regarding illicit activities conducted on their services.

Snapchat and the Lawsuit

The lawsuit, filed in 2022 and amended last year, alleges that Snap was aware that its platform was being used by drug dealers to sell controlled substances to minors. The plaintiffs claim that Snapchat’s design and features, such as disappearing messages, created an online safe space for the sale of illegal narcotics.

Snapchat’s Response

Snapchat has refuted the allegations, stating that it is working diligently to address drug dealing on its platform in collaboration with law enforcement. The company believes that the plaintiffs’ claims are legally and factually flawed and intends to defend its position in court.

Judge’s Ruling

Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Lawrence Riff rejected Snap’s attempt to dismiss the case, although he did dismiss four counts against the company. He overruled Snap’s efforts to throw out more than 10 other counts, including negligence and wrongful death. The judge also delved into the relevance of Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act to the case but did not conclusively determine whether the law’s legal shield should protect Snap outright.

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