This case was last updated from U.S. District Courts on 08/12/2022 at 06:08:53 (UTC).

Johnson et al v. Meta Platforms, Inc. et al

Case Summary

On August 2, 2022, Damian Johnson, individually and as next of friend to minor plaintiffs K.L.J., K.A.J., and J.A.J. (“Plaintiffs”), represented by Christopher A. Seeger of Seeger Weiss LLP and Matthew P. Bergman of Social Media Victims Law Center PLLC, filed a personal injury lawsuit against Meta Platforms, Inc., Youtube, LLC, Google LLC, Alphabet Inc., Snap, Inc., Tiktok Inc. and Bytedance Inc. (collectively, “Defendants”), seeking injunctive relief and damages for alleged negligence that caused a mental health crisis. This case was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of Illinois with Judges Michael M. Mihm and Jonathan E. Hawley presiding. 

In the complaint, Plaintiffs claimed that “this product liability action seeks to hold Defendants products responsible for causing and contributing to burgeoning mental health crisis perpetrated upon the children and teenagers of the United States by Defendants and, specifically for the injuries it caused minors K.L.J., K.A.J., and J.A.J.”

Plaintiffs alleged that “Defendants’ social media products likewise caused foreseeable harms to Plaintiff Damian Johnson. Damian Johnson did not consent to Defendants distributing or otherwise providing his children with access to harmful and discriminatory social media products and was emotionally and financially harmed by Defendants’ addictive design, distribution and provision of harmful social media products to his minor children, and discriminatory algorithms which targeted his children such that Defendants have exposed K.L.J. and J.A.J. to higher amounts of dangerous and deadly content than what Defendants pushed to similar situated children who are not African American.”

Plaintiffs then alleged that “each of Defendants’ products contains unique product features which are intended to and do encourage addiction, and unlawful content and use of said products, to the detriment of Defendants’ minor users.”

Plaintiffs further alleged that “these social media products create a ‘perfect storm’ of addiction, social comparison, and exposure to incredibly harmful content and harmful product features. Defendants program and operate their algorithms and social media products more generally in a manner that prioritizes engagement and profits over user safety.”

Plaintiffs also alleged that “Defendants also advertise their products in misleading ways, assuring parents and the public that their products are safe and fun and that they utilize their technologies to ensure a safe and age-appropriate experience.”

Plaintiffs additionally alleged that “all Defendants have some degree of knowledge about the harms their products cause users, particularly teen, child, and other vulnerable user populations, and all Defendants continue to operate those products in a harmful and dangerous manner anyway and in the interest of competing with one another and increasing already astronomical profits.”

Plaintiffs also alleged that “Plaintiffs suffered several emotional, physical, and financial harms as a result—all of which are a symptom of the current health crisis among American youth and, by natural and foreseeable extension, American families, caused by certain, harmful social media products such as the ones at issue in this case.”

Plaintiffs presented four claims for relief alleging design defect and failure to warn under strict product liability, negligence, and violation of Illinois Consumer Fraud Act.

In the prayer for relief, Plaintiffs requested injunctive relief, damages, punitive damages, medical expenses, reasonable costs, and attorney and expert/consultant fees.

This is a summary of a legal complaint. All statements, claims, and allegations listed herein reflect the position of the plaintiff only and do not represent the position of UniCourt. Additionally, this case summary may not reflect the current position of the parties to this litigation or the current status of this case. To view the latest case updates and court documents, please sign up for a UniCourt account.

Case Details Parties Documents Dockets

 

Case Details

  • Case Number:

    1:22-CV-01260

  • Filing Date:

    08/02/2022

  • Case Status:

    Pending - Other Pending

  • Case Type:

    Personal Injury - Other Product Liability

Judge Details

Presiding Judge

Michael M. Mihm

Referral Judge

Jonathan E. Hawley

 

Party Details

Plaintiffs

Damian Jonhson

Damian Johnson

Defendants

Meta Platforms, Inc.

Facebook Inc.

YouTube, LLC

Google LLC

Alphabet Inc.

Snap, Inc.

TikTok Inc.

ByteDance Inc.

Attorney/Law Firm Details

Plaintiff Attorneys

Christopher A Seeger

Attorney at SEEGER WEISS LLP

550 Broad St

Newark, NJ 07102

Matthew P Bergman

Attorney at SOCIAL MEDIA VICTIMS LAW CENTER PLLC

Suite 2100, 821 2Nd Avenue

Seattle, WA 98104

Christopher Ayers

Attorney at SEEGER WEISS LLP

55 Challenger Road

Ridgefield Park, NJ 07660

Glenn Draper

Attorney at SOCIAL MEDIA VICTIMS LAW CENTER PLLC

821 Second Avenue, Suite 2100

Seattle, WA 98104

Laura Marquez-Garrett

Attorney at SOCIAL MEDIA VICTIMS LAW CENTER PLLC

821 Second Avenue, Suite 2100

Seattle, WA 98104

Robert H Klonoff

Attorney at SEEGER WEISS LLP

2425 S.W. 76Th Ave.

Portland, OR 97225

 

Court Documents

1 #1

Main Document

1 #1

Civil Cover Sheet

1 #2

Summons ByteDance

1 #3

Summons Alphabet

1 #4

Summons Google

1 #5

Summons YouTube

1 #6

Summons TikTok

1 #7

Summons Snap

1 #8

Summons Meta

#2

RESTRICTED

#3

(#3) NOTICE of Association of Counsel (Bergman, Matthew) (Entered: 08/03/2022)

 

Docket Entries

  • 08/03/2022
  • View Court Documents
  • Docket(#3) NOTICE of Association of Counsel (Bergman, Matthew) (Entered: 08/03/2022)

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  • 08/02/2022
  • View Court Documents
  • Docket(#2) Summons Issued as to All Defendants. (FDS) (Entered: 08/02/2022)

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  • 08/02/2022
  • View Court Documents
  • Docket(#1) COMPLAINT against Alphabet Inc., ByteDance Inc., Google LLC, Meta Platforms, Inc., Snap, Inc., TikTok Inc., YouTube, LLC ( Filing fee $ 402 receipt number AILCDC-3996364.), filed by Damian Johnson. (Attachments: #1 Civil Cover Sheet, #2 Summons ByteDance, #3 Summons Alphabet, #4 Summons Google, #5 Summons YouTube, #6 Summons TikTok, #7 Summons Snap, #8 Summons Meta)(Bergman, Matthew) (Entered: 08/02/2022)

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