Social Media Injury Lawsuits
Suing Social Media Platforms for Addiction, Self-Harm & Other Injuries
Social media companies have become some of the world’s largest corporations. But in their efforts to grow, keep users engaged, and maximize profits, they have created algorithms and environments that are truly harmful to users – and especially children.
Now, parents of children and teens who’ve suffered injuries and losses because of their social media use are stepping forward to hold social media companies accountable.
At Levy Konigsberg, we’re leading the fight for families seeking justice against these powerful platforms.
Levy Konigsberg: Reviewing Social Media Injury & Suicide Claims Nationwide
Levy Konigsberg is an award-winning firm with a reputation for litigating tough and ground-breaking claims. We’ve taken on some of the country’s largest corporations in complex products liability, personal injury, and wrongful death cases have recovered over $3 billion in compensation for clients nationwide.
Now, we’re leveraging our experience to help families harmed by social media addiction fight back.
Our social medial injury lawyers are actively investigating potential lawsuits from parents and families with children who have suffered harm or committed suicide due to social media use and addiction. To discuss your case during a FREE consultation, call (800) 315-3806 or contact us online.
Research Reveals Social Media’s Negative Impact on Childrens’ Mental Health
Social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, TikTok, Snapchat, and others have changed the way people interact with others, view themselves, and spend their time. Those changes can be felt among users of all age groups, but for children and younger generations, it’s all they’ve ever known.
Now, growing research is showing just how dangerous social media can be for the mental health of younger users, especially in terms of rising teen suicide rates. For example:
- CDC data and peer-reviewed studies logged with the National Library of Medicine show that the teen suicide rate has increased over 30% between 2007 and 2015. Researchers have pointed to the proliferation of social media use by this age group as a potential cause.
- A Pew Research Center study published in 2018 found that a heightened risk of suicidal ideation among teens coincided not only with the amount of time users spent on social media, but also with the type of content they consumed. The study found that teens who used social media two or more hours per day suffered a decline in mental health, regardless of content consumed, and that teens who engaged in personal posts (selfies, journaling, etc.) faced a higher risk of suicidal ideation than those who used platforms for entertainment. Teens who experienced cyberbullying had the highest risk of suicidal ideation.
Many other scientific studies have explored the dangers of social media use by teens and have found compelling evidence that these platforms create toxic atmospheres for young users whose brains are still developing. Some examples:
- A 2022 study published in NASN School Nursefound that social media can lead to increased feelings of stress, isolation, and indirect or direct criticism for adolescents, whose introduction to social media often coincides with a time of tremendous emotional and developmental vulnerability.
- A 2022 study published in Current Psychology noted that social media use in adolescents resulted in negative psychological feelings about oneself. It also found that in viewing content on these platforms, adolescents often made comparisons to their own body image, life experiences, and abilities and that increased time on social media was associated with increased risks of depression, poor academic performance, disordered eating, and dissatisfaction with body image.
- A 2020 study published in PloS Onefound that Instagram, compared to other social media platforms, contained the greatest proportion of visual self-harm content. Images of self-harm also received high levels of engagement from users.
- A 2017 study published in the scientific journal EWD concluded that social media can result in negative views of an individual's self-image, especially in relation to body image and disordered eating. It linked high levels of Instagram use to a higher prevalence of orthorexia nervosa (obsession with healthy eating), an effect that wasn’t exhibited by other platforms.
How We Help Victims Sue Social Media Companies
Levy Konigsberg is a U.S. News “Best Law Firms” rated trial practice on the forefront of complex litigation. Our team is actively investigating plaintiffs’ claims against social media companies over a variety of issues. Examples include:
- Wrongful death lawsuits involving suicide
- Sexual abuse lawsuits involving online grooming
- Personal injury lawsuits involving psychological and emotional harm, including depression, eating disorders, self-harm, and other mental health issues
- Personal injury lawsuits involving physical injuries, including overdose injuries and deaths facilitated by online drug sales
How Can Social Media Companies Be Held Liable?
While cases vary in their particularities, social media injury lawsuits are often based on a few common claims, including:
- Negligence in creating, maintaining, and supervising platforms for the presence of harmful or dangerous content, including harmful content accessible to minors.
- Failure to adequately warn about serious mental and physical health risks associated with their products.
- Failure to exercise reasonable care in the development and design of their products, as well as the operation, supervision, and promotion of their platforms and content.
- Defective products, including algorithms and technologies that promote harmful or dangerous content to vulnerable users like children.
- Defectively designed platforms and algorithms that are intended to maximize screentime, thereby promoting addictive behavior and creating unreasonable risks for mental and physical harm.
As a firm that has earned national recognition litigating tobacco lawsuits and other products liability cases against large corporations, we see many similarities between social media companies and Big Tobacco. This includes a careful construction of products that are designed to exploit human biology and neurology, with a focus on maximizing engagement, dependence, and addiction.
For social media companies, extreme and constant engagement is a great way to boost advertising revenue. But for users and especially youth, it is a highly dangerous objective that clearly indicated these companies are more interested in maximizing profits that protecting the health and safety of people.
By pursuing claims against social media companies, victims can position themselves to secure the justice and compensation they deserve and help forge a path to better regulate this space and enact positive change in the ways these companies operate and protect young users.
Current Litigation Over Social Media Liability
The field of social media victims’ litigation is new and evolving. But there are a growing number of legal cases focused on the risks posed by social media platforms and the responsibilities social media companies have for managing and warning about those risks. Some high-profile cases include:
- In March 2023, a lawsuit filed against various social media companies – including Meta Platforms, Inc., Instagram LLC, Snap, Inc., TikTok, Inc., ByteDance, Inc., YouTube LLC, Google LLC, and Alphabet Inc – was consolidated into a multi-district litigation (MDL) in the Northern District of California. The suit raises claims that the companies’ platforms are defective because they are designed to maximize screen time, encourage addictive behavior in adolescents, and cause emotional and physical harm, including suicide and death.
- In June 2022, a personal injury lawsuit filed against Meta Platforms, Inc. and other defendants raised claims that social media algorithms and AI programs are intentionally designed to be addictive to minors, who can easily become depressed, victimized by cyberbullying, or develop other mental health issues, including self-harm and suicidal behavior. The suit (Guerrero v. Meta Platforms, Inc., et al) was filed on behalf of a 17-year-old whose addictive and problematic use of Meta social platforms resulted in sleep deprivation, an eating disorder, severe anxiety, and attempted suicide.
- In October 2021, former Facebook employee Frances Haugen testified before the U.S. Senate to discuss how Facebook harms children in pursuit of “astronomical profits.” In her written testimony, Haugen stated that the company consistently chose to maximize growth rather than implement safeguards on its platform, despite mounting evidence of the harm is was causing individuals and children.
Do I Have a Case?
You may have a case if:
- You are the parent or legal guardian of a child who has suffered physical or mental harm due to social media use or addiction.
- Your child committed suicide or attempted suicide due to their social media use.
Social media injury lawsuits have been filed over a range of injuries and issues that have adverse consequences for kids and young adults. Examples of issues commonly claimed in these lawsuits include:
- Self-esteem issues
- Social media addiction and overuse
- Online grooming and sexual abuse
- Eating disorders
- Drug procurement, including fentanyl-laced pills resulting in overdose
Call For a FREE Case Review: (800) 315-3806
At Levy Konigsberg, our social media litigation team works to hold social media companies accountable for the harm they inflict upon vulnerable users, including children. By leveraging our experience litigating complex products liability cases, we help victims pursue the justice they deserve, while also compelling social media companies to prioritize the health and safety of people who use their platforms.
If you have questions about a potential claim, call (800) 315-3806 or contact us online for a FREE and confidential consultation. Levy Konigsberg serves victims nationwide and works on contingency, which means there’s no cost to hire and no fee unless we win.
Find out whether you have a case by speaking to one of our experienced lawyers via our 24/7 toll-free hotline or by submitting an email inquiry. Our attorneys will be quick to respond to you and happy to answer all of your questions.
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