Snapchat is a popular social media platform amongst younger generations. Most notably, the app is known for its feature that allows images, videos, and text to disappear shortly after sending. The last quarter of 2022 alone, reported nearly 322 million daily users.
Unfortunately, many social media users are children whose brains are not yet fully developed. Their vulnerability can easily be taken advantage of, especially since digital activity can be hard to monitor and trace.
In the age of digital media, brands like Snapchat have a responsibility to their consumers to provide a safe outlet. Failure to do so should be legally pursued.
Snapchat is involved in a wrongful death lawsuit for the deaths of nine children. The wrongful death occurred when the individuals overdosed on lethal doses of fentanyl obtained through the app. In the complaint, the parents allege Snapchat “encouraged, enabled, and facilitated” the drug transactions that led to their children’s deaths.
The lawsuit alleged Snapchat was involved in 75% of fentanyl poisoning deaths of children between the ages of 13 to 18 from 2020-2022. It also insinuated a broader concern with this particular app in comparison to other forms of social media. Because of the disappearing feature, exchanges between app users are harder to track making it alluring to dealers and hard for parents to monitor.
The claims accused Snapchat of creating a feeling of dependency in children whose brains are still developing. This then allowed them to be coerced into illegal activity.
If you lost a loved one from this or another wrongful death accident, you should contact a Los Angeles wrongful death lawyer immediately.
Who Can Be Held Responsible for a Wrongful Death?
The surviving spouse and family members are able hold parties responsible for the loss of a loved one. Wrongful death lawsuits can be filed against any party that contributes to the loss of one’s life. Some parties may include:
Individuals: Individuals who may be held liable for wrongful death include the person or people who caused the death. In the Snapchat case, dealers or individuals involved in the production, sale, or distribution of the illegal substance may be liable.
Product manufacturers: If a product is defectively designed or manufactured and contributes to one’s death, the company may be held responsible. Snapchat may be harder to find at fault than a traditional product liability case. If their app is found to have “encouraged, enabled, and facilitated” the overdoses then there may be a wrongful death case.
While the following do not pertain to the Snapchat lawsuit, they are also examples of parties who can be held liable in wrongful death cases.
Employers: Employers may be found liable in wrongful death cases if their employees cause the death. For example, a trucking company may be responsible for a fatal accident caused by one of its on-duty drivers. This will also apply to government entities such as police departments.
Property owners: Property owners can be charged if they fail to maintain a safe property. For example, failing to fix a loose ceiling tile which results in someone’s death.
Negligent parties will vary depending on the jurisdiction and individual circumstances. Our team of Los Angeles and Orange County wrongful death attorneys can provide insight into California law. It is important for individuals to contact the best wrongful death attorneys for their specific jurisdiction.
What To Expect in the Wrongful Death Lawsuit
A wrongful death lawsuit is a civil action seeking monetary damages. Elements of negligence will be:
- Duty of Care: Plaintiffs must prove Snapchat had a duty of care to provide safety to those using its product. This may be difficult to prove especially considering the lack of statutes governing these spaces.
- Breach of Duty: After establishing the duty of care, the Plaintiffs must prove Snapchat neglected to uphold that duty.
- Causation: The Plaintiffs will have to prove the breach of care directly contributed to the wrongful death. In this case, Snapchat was not monitored safely, which allowed for the facilitation of drug sales.
This lawsuit is not as straightforward as other wrongful death claims. The wrongful death law firms involved in this case will have to prove the app’s features created an unsafe space, and from there, argue that the app needs to be corrected.
If Snapchat is found liable it may have to cover medical bills, funeral expenses, and other economic costs. Families may also be compensated for their grief and loss of companionship.
Best Wrongful Death Attorneys- Los Angeles
As technology becomes exceedingly more prevalent, it is important to hold these companies liable for wrongful death and personal injury cases. When a loved one is taken at the hands of another, it can be hard to overcome the pain. It is important to lean on each other for moral support, and seek professional counseling when needed.
John J. Perlstein understands your grief and will do everything he can to hold the responsible parties accountable.
While we can not reverse time, we will fight relentlessly to get you maximum financial compensation. John is widely recognized as the best wrongful death lawyer in Los Angeles, winning settlements of up to $10 million. Contact us today to speak with a contingency attorney (Los Angeles and surrounding areas).