The new state lawsuits follow preexisting multidistrict litigation in federal court in San Francisco original filed by Lieff Cabraser and co-counsel
As reported widely across the media, a bipartisan coalition of state attorneys general that includes California, New York, Georgia, South Carolina, Illinois and related actions from Massachusetts, Tennessee, Mississippi and many others have filed litigation against Meta accusing the social media behemoth of violating state and federal child privacy and false advertising laws by designing its business models to radically maximize youth engagement via manipulative features with strong negative effects on mental and physical health.
The latest filings come in the wake of the earlier lawsuits filed on behalf of parents and their children as well as school districts and other organizations as well as nationwide investigations commenced in late 2021 by the attorneys general of multiple states scrutinizing how Meta lures and keeps its youngest users. As California Attorney General Rob Bonta noted, “Our bipartisan investigation has arrived at a solemn conclusion: Meta has been harming our children and teens, cultivating addiction to boost corporate profits.”
As noted by Law360 (subscription), the allegations pressed by the attorneys general echo those that have been advanced in the ongoing multidistrict litigation accusing Facebook, TikTok, Snapchat and Google-owned YouTube of being responsible for the negative mental health effects that their platforms have on teenagers.
Referring to the attorneys general suit filed Tuesday, the lead plaintiffs’ counsel in the multidistrict case said in a joint statement yesterday, “This significant step underscores the undeniable urgency of addressing the impact of addictive and harmful social media platforms, a matter of paramount concern nationwide, as it continues to contribute to a pervasive mental health crisis among American youth.” That statement came from Lexi Hazam of Lieff Cabraser Heimann & Bernstein; Previn Warren of Motley Rice; and Chris Seeger of Seeger Weiss.
There are about 425 plaintiffs, including school districts, in that lawsuit. A hearing is set for Friday October 7, 2023 on a motion to dismiss filed by the defendants in that case.
In 2016, Lexi was elected as Chair Elect of the American Association for Justice’s Section on Toxic, Environmental, and Pharmaceutical Torts (STEP) after previously serving as vice-chair. In 2018, Lexi was elected as Vice-Chair of the American Association for Justice’s Section on Qui Tam Litigation after previously serving as Co-Secretary.
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