This case was last updated from U.S. District Courts on 08/03/2022 at 05:20:50 (UTC).

Serena Fleites et al v. MindGeek S.A.R.L. et al

Case Summary

On June 17, 2021, Serena Fleites and Jane Doe Nos. 1 through 33 (collectively, “Plaintiffs”), represented by Danielle A. D’Aquila, David M. Stein, Lauren Tabaksblat, and Michael J. Bowe of Brown Rudnick LLP, filed a lawsuit against MindGeek S.a.r.l.; MG Freesites, Ltd. d/b/a Pornhub; MindGeek USA Incorporated; MG Premium Ltd.; RK Holdings USA Inc.; MG Global Entertainment Inc.; TrafficJunky Inc. d/b/a Trafficjunky.com; Bernd Bergmair; Feras Antoon; David Tassillo; Corey Urman; Bernd Bergmair Does 1-10; and Colbeck Capital Management LLC Does 1-10 and Visa Inc. (collectively, “Defendants”), represented by Adam B. Korn, Evan S. Nadel, and Peter A. Chavkin of Mintz Levin Cohn Ferris Glovsky and Popeo PC, Andre Fontana, Dan E. Marmalefsky, and Ronald G. White of Morrison and Forester LLP, Benjamin M. Sadun, Hayden Coleman, and Kathleen N. Massey of Dechert LLP, Andrew S. Tulumello of Weil Gotshal and Manges LLP, and others, seeking damages and injunctive relief for alleged distribution of non-consensual sexual content. This case was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California with Judges Alexander F. MacKinnon and Consuelo B. Marshall presiding.

In the complaint, Plaintiffs alleged that “MindGeek is the most dominant online pornography company in the world. It is also one of the largest human trafficking ventures in the world. And it is likely the largest non-regulatory repository of child pornography in North America and well beyond.”

Plaintiffs then alleged that “the defendants embraced a business model in which they not only allowed users to populate their platform with virtually any type of pornographic content, they would carefully analyze those users and others who were drawn to such content to induce them to load more, watch more, live more on the Mindgeek platform. In the course of doing so, these defendants developed a detailed understanding of all the content on their platform, including non-consensual content, and nonetheless elected to monetize that content.”

Plaintiffs further alleged that “the defendants succeeded in creating a bustling marketplace for child pornography, rape videos, trafficked videos, and every other form of nonconsensual content. They intentionally elected to not employ any effective monitoring of what was being uploaded, or process for removing content that was exploitive and illegal.”

Plaintiffs also alleged that “not only did these defendants allow users to populate MindGeek’s platform with non-consensual content, and restore the non-consensual content of those users when removed, they also acquired and populated the MindGeek platform with their own non-consensual content.”

Plaintiffs then alleged that “as a direct and proximate result of the MindGeek venture’s wrongdoing, Plaintiffs have suffered substantial damages, including but not limited to, physical, psychological, financial, and reputational harm as well as other economic damages”

Plaintiffs presented nineteen claims for relief alleging violations of 18 U.S.C. §§ 1591, 1594, 1595, 2252, 2255 and 1962, public disclosure of private facts, intrusion into private affairs, placing Plaintiff in false light, common law misappropriation, distribution of private sexually explicit materials, negligence, unjust enrichment, and civil conspiracy.

In the prayer for relief, Plaintiffs requested injunctive relief, compensatory damages, punitive damages, treble damages, litigation costs, and attorney 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:

    2:21-CV-04920

  • Filing Date:

    06/17/2021

  • Case Status:

    Pending - Other Pending

  • Case Type:

    Other

Judge Details

Referral Judges

Alexander F. MacKinnon

Autumn D. Spaeth

Presiding Judges

Consuelo B. Marshall

Cormac J. Carney

 

Party Details

Plaintiffs

Serena Fleites

Jane Doe

Defendants

Bergmair Does

MindGeek USA Incorporated

RK Holdings USA Inc.

Visa Inc.

TrafficJunky Inc.

Feras Antoon

David Tassillo

Colbeck Capital Does

Bernd Bergmair

MG Premiun LTD

MG Freesites, LTD

MindGeek S.A.R.L.

Corey Urman

MG Global Entertainment Inc.

9219-1568 Quebec, Inc.

Amicus Curiae

INTERNATIONAL CENTER FOR LAW & ECONOMICS

Attorney/Law Firm Details

Plaintiff Attorneys

David M. Stein

2211 Michelson Drive 7Th Floor

Irvine, CA 92612

Danielle A D'Aquila

7 Times Square

New York, NY 10036

Danielle A. D'Aquila

Attorney at Brown Rudnick LLP

7 Times Square

New York, NY 10036

Lauren Tabaksblat

Attorney at Brown Rudnick LLP

Seven Times Square

New York, NY 10036

Michael J Bowe

Attorney at Brown Rudnick LLP

7 Times Square

New York, NY 10036

David M Stein

Attorney at Brown Rudnick LLP

2211 Michelson Drive 7Th Floor

Irvine, CA 92612

Defendant Attorneys

Benjamin Maxwell Sadun

Attorney at Dechert LLP

633 West 5Th Street Suite 4900

Los Angeles, CA 90071-2013

Hayden Coleman

Attorney at Dechert LLP

Three Bryant Park, 1095 Avenue Of The Americas

New York, NY 10036

Kathleen N. Massey

Attorney at Dechert LLP

Three Bryant Park, 1095 Avenue Of The Americas

New York, NY 10036

Andrew S Tulumello

Attorney at Weil Gotshal and Manges LLP

2001 M Street, Nw Suite 600

Washington, DC 20036-5306

Colin C. Bridge

Attorney at Cohen and Gresser LLP

800 Third Avenue

New York, NY 10022

David W. Wiechert

Attorney at Wiechert Munk and Goldstein PC

27136 Paseo Espada Suite B1123

San Juan Capistrano, CA 92675

Nathaniel P. T. Read

Attorney at Cohen and Gresser LLP

800 Third Avenue, 21St Floor

New York, NY 10022

S. Jason Brown

Attorney at Cohen and Gresser LLP

800 Third Avenue

New York, NY 10022

Jonathan S. Sack

Attorney at Morvillo Abramowitz Grand Iason and Anello PC

565 Fifth Avenue

New York, NY 10017

Karen R. King

Attorney at Morvillo Abramowitz Grand Iason and Anello PC

565 Fifth Avenue

New York, NY 10017

Ryan McMenamin

Attorney at Morvillo Abramowitz Grand Iason and Anello PC

565 Fifth Avenue

New York, NY 10017

Dan E. Marmalefsky

Attorney at Morrison and Foerster LLP

707 Wilshire Boulevard Suite 6000

Los Angeles, CA 90017-3543

Ronald G. White

Attorney at Morrison and Forester LLP

250 West 55Th Street

New York, NY 10019

Andre Fontana

Attorney at Morrison and Foerster LLP

425 Market Street

San Francisco, CA 94105

7 More Attorneys Available

 

Court Documents

#168

(#168) ORDER DENYING PLAINTIFFS REQUEST FOR ISSUANCE OF SCHEDULING ORDER AND REQUEST TO OPEN DISCOVERY #129 by Judge Cormac J. Carney. On May 6, 2022, Plaintiff requested that the Court enter a scheduling order and that the Court order the parties to proceed to discovery. (Dkt. 129.) The Court DENIES that request. In a separate order, the Court ordered the MindGeek Defendants (individual and entity) to submit to jurisdictional discovery. (SEE DOCUMENT FOR FURTHER DETAILS.) (rolm) (Entered: 07/29/2022)

#167

(#167) ORDER DIRECTING THE MINDGEEK DEFENDANTS TO SUBMIT TO JURISDICTIONAL DISCOVERY UNTIL DECEMBER 30, 2022, GRANTING PLAINTIFF LEAVE TO AMEND HER COMPLAINT AFTER JURISDICTIONAL DISCOVERY IS COMPLETE, AND DENYING THE MINDGEEK DEFENDANTS MOTIONS TO DISMISS WITHOUT PREJUDICE #135 #136 #137 #139 #140 FOR THEM TO RENEW AFTER PLAINTIFF HAS FILED A SECOND AMENDED COMPLAINT by Judge Cormac J. Carney. The Court ORDERS Plaintiff and the MindGeek Defendants to engage in jurisdictional discovery. The Court sets FRIDAY, DECEMBER 30, 2022 as the close for jurisdictional discovery. The Court REFERS this matter to the Magistrate Judge for the jurisdictional discovery period. The Court DENIES WITHOUT PREJUDICE the MindGeek Defendants motions to dismiss in light of the near certainty that Plaintiff will file a Second Amended Complaint at the close of jurisdictional discovery, which the Court GRANTS her leave to do. (SEE DOCUMENT FOR FURTHER DETAILS.) (rolm) (Entered: 07/29/2022)

#145

(#166) ORDER GRANTING IN PART AND DENYING IN PART VISAS MOTION TO DISMISS #138 , DEMANDING A MORE DEFINITE STATEMENT WITH RESPECT TO PLAINTIFFS CIVIL CONSPIRACY CLAIM, AND GRANTING THE INTERNATIONAL CENTER FOR LAW & ECONOMICS MOTION TO FILE AN AMICUS BRIEF #145 by Judge Cormac J. Carney. For the foregoing reasons, Visas motion is GRANTED IN PART AND DENIED IN PART WITH LEAVE TO AMEND. However, leave to amend is limited. The Court will not permit Plaintiff to amend her section 1591(a)(2) claim against Visa. Such amendment would be futile because Plaintiff simply has no basis for claiming Visa directly participated in the sex trafficking ventures that harmed her.16 Plaintiff shall withhold any amendment until the parties have completed jurisdictional discovery, which the Court has ordered in a companion order. (See Dkt. 167.) (SEE DOCUMENT FOR FURTHER DETAILS.) (rolm) (Entered: 07/29/2022)

140 #3

Proposed Order Proposed Order Granting Specially Appearing Defendant Corey Urman

140 #140

Main Document

139 #4

Declaration of Jean Rochette in Support of Defendants' Motion to Dismiss

139 #3

Declaration of Andreas Alkiviades Andreou in Support of Defendants' Motion

137 #1

Proposed Order

137 #137

Main Document

#9

#8

#4

#3

#1

190 More Documents Available
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Docket Entries

  • 08/02/2022
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  • Docket(#169) FOR COURT USE ONLY: STATISTICAL CORRECTION (Notice of Motion) #145 re: NOTICE OF MOTION AND MOTION to File Amicus Brief (rolm) (Entered: 08/02/2022)

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  • 07/29/2022
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  • Docket(#168) ORDER DENYING PLAINTIFFS REQUEST FOR ISSUANCE OF SCHEDULING ORDER AND REQUEST TO OPEN DISCOVERY #129 by Judge Cormac J. Carney. On May 6, 2022, Plaintiff requested that the Court enter a scheduling order and that the Court order the parties to proceed to discovery. (Dkt. 129.) The Court DENIES that request. In a separate order, the Court ordered the MindGeek Defendants (individual and entity) to submit to jurisdictional discovery. (SEE DOCUMENT FOR FURTHER DETAILS.) (rolm) (Entered: 07/29/2022)

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  • 07/29/2022
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  • Docket(#167) ORDER DIRECTING THE MINDGEEK DEFENDANTS TO SUBMIT TO JURISDICTIONAL DISCOVERY UNTIL DECEMBER 30, 2022, GRANTING PLAINTIFF LEAVE TO AMEND HER COMPLAINT AFTER JURISDICTIONAL DISCOVERY IS COMPLETE, AND DENYING THE MINDGEEK DEFENDANTS MOTIONS TO DISMISS WITHOUT PREJUDICE #135 #136 #137 #139 #140 FOR THEM TO RENEW AFTER PLAINTIFF HAS FILED A SECOND AMENDED COMPLAINT by Judge Cormac J. Carney. The Court ORDERS Plaintiff and the MindGeek Defendants to engage in jurisdictional discovery. The Court sets FRIDAY, DECEMBER 30, 2022 as the close for jurisdictional discovery. The Court REFERS this matter to the Magistrate Judge for the jurisdictional discovery period. The Court DENIES WITHOUT PREJUDICE the MindGeek Defendants motions to dismiss in light of the near certainty that Plaintiff will file a Second Amended Complaint at the close of jurisdictional discovery, which the Court GRANTS her leave to do. (SEE DOCUMENT FOR FURTHER DETAILS.) (rolm) (Entered: 07/29/2022)

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  • 07/29/2022
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  • Docket(#166) ORDER GRANTING IN PART AND DENYING IN PART VISAS MOTION TO DISMISS #138 , DEMANDING A MORE DEFINITE STATEMENT WITH RESPECT TO PLAINTIFFS CIVIL CONSPIRACY CLAIM, AND GRANTING THE INTERNATIONAL CENTER FOR LAW & ECONOMICS MOTION TO FILE AN AMICUS BRIEF #145 by Judge Cormac J. Carney. For the foregoing reasons, Visas motion is GRANTED IN PART AND DENIED IN PART WITH LEAVE TO AMEND. However, leave to amend is limited. The Court will not permit Plaintiff to amend her section 1591(a)(2) claim against Visa. Such amendment would be futile because Plaintiff simply has no basis for claiming Visa directly participated in the sex trafficking ventures that harmed her.16 Plaintiff shall withhold any amendment until the parties have completed jurisdictional discovery, which the Court has ordered in a companion order. (See Dkt. 167.) (SEE DOCUMENT FOR FURTHER DETAILS.) (rolm) (Entered: 07/29/2022)

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  • 07/25/2022
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  • Docket(#165) REPLY in Support of NOTICE OF MOTION AND MOTION to Dismiss Case NOTICE OF MOTION AND MOTION to Dismiss for Lack of Jurisdiction #139 filed by Defendants 9219-1568 Quebec, Inc., MG Freesites, LTD, MG Global Entertainment Inc., MG Premiun LTD, MindGeek S.A.R.L., MindGeek USA Incorporated. (Sadun, Benjamin) (Entered: 07/25/2022)

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  • 07/25/2022
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  • Docket(#164) REPLY in Support of NOTICE OF MOTION AND MOTION to Dismiss Case #137 filed by Defendant Feras Antoon. (Wiechert, David) (Entered: 07/25/2022)

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  • 07/25/2022
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  • Docket(#163) REPLY in Support of NOTICE OF MOTION AND MOTION to Dismiss Case #136 filed by Defendant David Tassillo. (Wiechert, David) (Entered: 07/25/2022)

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  • 07/25/2022
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  • Docket(#162) NOTICE OF ERRATA filed by Defendant David Tassillo. correcting Reply (Motion related) #160 (Wiechert, David) (Entered: 07/25/2022)

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  • 07/25/2022
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  • Docket(#161) REPLY Reply in Support of NOTICE OF MOTION AND MOTION to Dismiss Case Specially Appearing Defendant Corey Urman's Motion to Dismiss Amended Complaint #140 Reply in Support of Specially-Appearing Defendant Corey Urman's Motion to Dismiss the Amended Complaint filed by Defendant Corey Urman. (Nadel, Evan) (Entered: 07/25/2022)

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  • 07/25/2022
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  • Docket(#160) REPLY in Support of NOTICE OF MOTION AND MOTION to Dismiss Case #136 filed by Defendant David Tassillo. (Wiechert, David) Modified on 7/26/2022 (twdb). (Entered: 07/25/2022)

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149 More Docket Entries
  • 06/17/2021
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  • Docket(#10) NOTICE OF PRO HAC VICE APPLICATION DUE for Non-Resident Attorney Lauren Tabaksblat. A document recently filed in this case lists you as an out-of-state attorney of record. However, the Court has not been able to locate any record that you are admitted to the Bar of this Court, and you have not filed an application to appear Pro Hac Vice in this case. Accordingly, within 5 business days of the date of this notice, you must either (1) have your local counsel file an application to appear Pro Hac Vice (Form G-64) and pay the applicable fee, or (2) complete the next section of this form and return it to the court at cacd_attyadm@cacd.uscourts.gov. You have been removed as counsel of record from the docket in this case, and you will not be added back to the docket until your Pro Hac Vice status has been resolved. (lh) (Entered: 06/17/2021)

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  • 06/17/2021
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  • Docket(#9) NOTICE OF PRO HAC VICE APPLICATION DUE for Non-Resident Attorney Michael J. Bowe. A document recently filed in this case lists you as an out-of-state attorney of record. However, the Court has not been able to locate any record that you are admitted to the Bar of this Court, and you have not filed an application to appear Pro Hac Vice in this case. Accordingly, within 5 business days of the date of this notice, you must either (1) have your local counsel file an application to appear Pro Hac Vice (Form G-64) and pay the applicable fee, or (2) complete the next section of this form and return it to the court at cacd_attyadm@cacd.uscourts.gov. You have been removed as counsel of record from the docket in this case, and you will not be added back to the docket until your Pro Hac Vice status has been resolved. (lh) (Entered: 06/17/2021)

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  • 06/17/2021
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  • Docket(#8) NOTICE OF ASSIGNMENT to District Judge Consuelo B. Marshall and Magistrate Judge Alexander F. MacKinnon. (lh) (Entered: 06/17/2021)

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  • 06/17/2021
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  • Docket(#7) NOTICE OF MOTION AND MOTION to Plaintiffs Motion for Leave to Proceed Under Pseudonyms filed by Plaintiffs Jane Doe, Serena Fleites. (Attachments: #1 Proposed Order) (Stein, David) (Entered: 06/17/2021)

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  • 06/17/2021
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  • Docket(#6) Request for Clerk to Issue Summons on Complaint (Attorney Civil Case Opening) #1 filed by Plaintiffs Jane Doe, Serena Fleites. (Attachments: #1 Attachment 1 and 2 to Summons)(Stein, David) (Entered: 06/17/2021)

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  • 06/17/2021
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  • Docket(#5) CIVIL COVER SHEET filed by Plaintiffs Jane Doe, Serena Fleites. (Attachments: #1 Attachment 1(a) and 1(c) to Civil Cover Sheet)(Stein, David) (Entered: 06/17/2021)

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  • 06/17/2021
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  • Docket(#4) NOTICE of Related Case(s) filed by Plaintiffs Jane Doe, Serena Fleites. Related Case(s): 8:21-cv-00338-CJC-ADS (Stein, David) (Entered: 06/17/2021)

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  • 06/17/2021
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  • Docket(#3) NOTICE Plaintiffs' Notice of Pendency of Other Actions and Proceedings filed by PLAINTIFFS Jane Doe, Serena Fleites. (Stein, David) (Entered: 06/17/2021)

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  • 06/17/2021
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  • Docket(#2) Certification and Notice of Interested Parties filed by PLAINTIFFS All Plaintiffs, (Attachments: #1 Appendix A)(Stein, David) (Entered: 06/17/2021)

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  • 06/17/2021
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  • Docket(#1) COMPLAINT Receipt No: ACACDC-31481775 - Fee: $402, filed by PLAINTIFFS Jane Doe, Serena Fleites. (Attorney David M. Stein added to party Jane Doe(pty:pla), Attorney David M. Stein added to party Serena Fleites(pty:pla))(Stein, David) (Entered: 06/17/2021)

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