Snapchat lawsuit amended for alleged death of Renton woman among other young adults

Feb 2, 2023, 7:13 AM
FILE- The Youtube, left, and Snapchat apps are seen on a mobile device in New York, on Aug. 9, 2017...

FILE- The Youtube, left, and Snapchat apps are seen on a mobile device in New York, on Aug. 9, 2017. The big U.S. social media companies are now facing lawsuits brought by public entities that seek to hold them to account for a huge societal problem — in their case, the mental health crisis among youth. But the new lawsuits — one by the public school district in Seattle last week, with a second filed by a suburban district on Monday, Jan. 9, 2023, and almost certainly more to come — face an uncertain legal road. (AP Photo/Richard Drew, File)

(AP Photo/Richard Drew, File)

The Social Media Victims Law Center has amended a lawsuit against Snapchat for allegedly connecting drug dealers to minors and young adults, resulting in their deaths.

A 21-year-old woman from Renton was among the people who died.

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In June 2021, she was allegedly connected with a dealer and purchased what she believed to be Percocet via Snapchat.

The pills were laced with lethal doses of fentanyl, according to police. The Snapchat dealer was allegedly connected to another young Snapchat user that died around the same time as the Renton woman.

The Renton woman “had a kind, big heart and volunteered for Children’s Theater, where she helped with hair and makeup, allowing her to pursue her passion as a career,” according to the SMVLC.

SMVLC is a legal resource for parents of children and teenagers harmed by social media addiction and online abuse.

SMVLC has filed lawsuits against Snapchat for alleged fentanyl poisoning on behalf of 26 families across 11 states, including Arizona, California, Colorado, Idaho, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, and Washington.

The lawsuit alleges that Snapchat’s features such as disappearing messages, “My Eyes Only” and “Snap Map” connect users with drug dealers and enable them to elude police by erasing evidence of a crime. Snapchat provides drug dealers with a never-ending source of customers, purposefully obstructs parental supervision, and creates unhealthy social media addictions, the SMVLC said.

“Time and time again we have seen the harm that Snapchat has done to families across the nation because of its role in connecting drug dealers to minors and young adults,” Matthew P. Bergman, founding attorney of the SMVLC, said. “Snapchat is ending lives and tearing families apart because of its product features that facilitate the sale of counterfeit drugs on its platform and protects criminals.”

The lawsuit is pending in the Los Angeles Superior Court.

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Snapchat lawsuit amended for alleged death of Renton woman among other young adults