While many believe social media companies are untouchable from lawsuits, it is possible to file a lawsuit if a social media website irreparably hurt you. Below is everything you need to know about these new types of cases, known as product liability lawsuits, that might be able to help you get compensation for emotional and other damages.
Product liability lawsuits are typically brought against companies making and selling physical products, but the legal principles can also apply to social media websites. For a product liability lawsuit to be successful, the plaintiff must show that the product was defective and that the defect caused their injuries.
Social media companies might seem innocent, but on the contrary, studies show that they have designed a product that is addictive and, therefore, harmful. Other studies show that social media use can lead to feelings of loneliness, envy, and depression. Given this evidence, it is possible to argue that social media websites are defective products that cause harm to users.
The type of injury you need to file a social media product liability lawsuit varies depending on the jurisdiction, but it must be a physical or emotional injury that is serious and can be permanently disabling. In some jurisdictions, plaintiffs have successfully sued social media companies for causing them to develop anxiety, depression, and other mental health problems.
In addition, the families of people who have died by suicide after using social media have also filed lawsuits against the companies, alleging that the companies are responsible for the death. While these cases are difficult to win, they illustrate that it is possible to sue a social media company for causing serious harm.
There are two main ways to prove that a social media website is defective: by showing that the company knew about the risks of the product and failed to warn users or by showing that the product was designed in a way that made it more likely to cause harm.
The first approach, known as failure to warn, would require you to show that the social media company knew that its product was harmful but failed to warn users about the risks. This approach might be successful if studies showed that social media use was harmful but the company did not warn users about these risks.
The second approach, known as design defect, would require you to show that the social media website was designed in a way that made it more likely to cause harm. This approach might be successful if you can show that the social media website was designed to be addictive or to exploit human psychology in a way that makes it harmful.
Many social media companies are now feeling the heat from lawsuits, and the Supreme Court has now agreed to hear a major case involving Google’s algorithm and its impact on the tragic death of Nohemi Gonzalez in the case of Gonzalez vs. Google.
This unprecedented step by the Supreme Court shows that social media’s legal landscape is rapidly changing, and more lawsuits may be successful in the future. If you believe a social media website has harmed you, you should speak to a product liability lawyer to discuss your options.
Social media lawyers are helping clients whom social media have harmed in several ways. They are filing lawsuits against social media companies for failing to warn users about the risks of their product or for designing a defective and harmful product. They are also working to change the law to make it easier for people to sue social media companies.