TikTok Lawsuit for Teenage Harm
The harm caused to teenagers and children by TikTok’s product design and algorithm has been linked to several deaths in the United States. The app has also been connected to several dangerous mental and physical impacts. Parents and young people harmed by TikTok have legal options to hold the platform accountable. Contact the Social Media Victims Law Center today to learn more about filing a TikTok harm lawsuit.
THIS IS AN ACTIVE LAWSUIT
Written and edited by our team of expert legal content writers and reviewed and approved by Attorney Matthew Bergman
Written and edited by our team of expert legal content writers and reviewed and approved by
Attorney Matthew Bergman
What You’ll Learn
- Why Are People Filing Harm Lawsuits Against TikTok?
- Why Did Utah Recently File a Lawsuit Against TikTok?
- How Does California’s Ruling on Section 230 Impact Lawsuits Against TikTok?
- Who Can File a Harm Lawsuit Against TikTok?
- What Damages Can Be Recovered From a TikTok Harm Lawsuit?
- How Has TikTok Harmed Teens?
- Why is TikTok Responsible?
- How Many Teens Use TikTok?
- How Do You File a Social Media Harm Lawsuit Against TikTok?
- Social Media Attorneys Experienced With Lawsuits Against TikTok
TikTok is one of the most widely used social media platforms among children and teenagers in the United States. Unfortunately, using the platform is uniquely dangerous to young people. Using TikTok has been linked to several physical and mental health harms, including depression, eating disorders, loneliness, and even death or suicide.
The Social Media Victims Law Center has been at the forefront of filing lawsuits against social media companies, including TikTok, on behalf of those harmed by the platforms. We are tireless advocates for the justice victims of social media use deserve. If you or your child has been harmed by their use of TikTok, the Social Media Victims Law Center is the right law firm to help you file a TikTok harm lawsuit.
Why Are People Filing Harm Lawsuits Against TikTok?
Using social media platforms such as TikTok poses risks for users. Teenagers and children are even more susceptible because their brains are still developing. Younger users are more likely to participate in dangerous trends and challenges. In addition, they’re often more sensitive to content that may harm their self-esteem. The adverse effects of social media, including TikTok, include social media addiction, depression, feelings of isolation, problems with body image, self-harm, and even suicide.
TikTok’s failure to protect its young users from the harms associated with using the platform has led to several lawsuits against the company. The Social Media Victims Law Center has been helping young people file lawsuits against TikTok for teen harm.
Why Did Utah Recently File a Lawsuit Against TikTok?
On October 10th, 2023, Utah Governor Spencer J. Cox and Attorney General Sean D. Reyes announced in a press release that the state is suing TikTok, alleging that:
- TikTok’s addictive design creates unhealthy, addictive habits for children and young adults causing them to endlessly scroll through the app.
- The company misrepresented the app’s safety features.
- Deceptively portrays itself as independent of ByteDance, its parent company.
“We will no longer tolerate TikTok misleading parents that its app is safe for children,” said Gov. Cox. “Social media companies must be held responsible for the harms they are causing. The experts — from the U.S. Surgeon General and behavioral science researchers to parents and teens — all agree that social media is affecting our children’s mental health and it’s time to intervene.”
Recent Harm Lawsuits Against TikTok
Our firm has continued to fight for the rights of children and young adults who have been impacted by TikTok. We have filed several lawsuits against the company for the harm it has caused its users as a result of the companies negligence to create a safe platform:
- Chase Nasca vs. Bytedance, Inc. et al.: The parents of 16-year-old Chase Nasca filed a wrongful death lawsuit against TikTok in March of 2023. Chase, a Long Island teenager with no history of depression or anxiety before using TikTok, took his own life after the TikTok algorithm showed him thousands of videos promoting suicide and self-harm.
- Smith et al. vs. TikTok, Inc.: The parents of 8-year-old Lalani Erika Walton and 9-year-old Arriani Jaileen Arroyo filed a wrongful death lawsuit against TikTok in July of 2022. The lawsuit states that these two children died by accidental self-strangulation while attempting the viral “blackout challenge,” a trend where users post videos strangling themselves until they lose consciousness. The platform featured videos of the blackout challenge on the children’s “For You” pages.
- D.S., K.R., and K.S. vs. Tiktok, Inc. et al.: 12-year-old K.S. and her parents filed a personal injury lawsuit against TikTok after she developed a severe eating disorder after constant content promoting eating disorders appeared on her TikTok account. Some of this content encouraged viewers to restrict their daily calorie intake to “under 500 calories.” K.S.’s eating disorder became so severe that she required hospitalization for over two weeks.
How Does California's Ruling on Section 230 Impact Lawsuits Against TikTok?
In California, Judge Carolyn B. Kuhl ruled that Section 230 does not shield social media companies like TikTok from lawsuits based on product liability claims. Social media companies have used this decades-old law to shield themselves from liability for the third-party content on their platforms. However, it was determined that the law does not protect them from liability for how their platforms are designed and operated.
Who Can File a Harm Lawsuit Against TikTok?
Any child or teen who experienced direct harm by TikTok’s failure to create a safe, functional platform that adequately warns users about the dangers involved in its use may have the legal standing to file a harm lawsuit.
It is common to have parents sue TikTok on behalf of minor children who were harmed or have died because of TikTok’s defective design.
What Damages Can Be Recovered From a TikTok Harm Lawsuit?
A harm lawsuit against TikTok can help victims recover compensation for their losses incurred due to the harm done by the platform. These can cover a variety of damages, including the following:
- Medical bills
- Time out of work to handle or recover from the harm
- Emotional distress
- Pain and suffering
- Funeral and burial expenses
How Has TikTok Harmed Teens?
Addictive social media platforms like TikTok have caused a wide variety of harm to children and teens’ physical and mental health. Click on any of the following links to learn more about how social media has caused these harms to teens:
Why is TikTok Responsible?
TikTok is liable for the harm caused to teens through using their platform under the U.S. product liability laws. Legally, TikTok is responsible for the damage caused to users due to either a defect in the product or the company’s failure to provide appropriate warnings regarding the use of the platform.
TikTok’s harmful algorithm is intentionally addictive, targeting content to specific users to keep them constantly engaged to maximize the platform’s use. In addition, the platform’s algorithms promote harmful content to users, specifically young people. Furthermore, there is no option for parental controls limiting what content their children see, and no warnings are provided regarding the harm.
Our firm seeks to hold TikTok legally responsible for the harm caused by its platform.
How Many Teens Use TikTok?
According to a 2022 study, 67 percent of American teenagers use TikTok, with 16 percent stating that they use TikTok “almost constantly.” This makes TikTok the second-most used social media platform among American teenagers, behind YouTube.
How Do You File a Social Media Harm Lawsuit Against TikTok?
While the specific details surrounding filing a social media harm lawsuit against TikTok will vary from state to state, the general procedure is to gather witnesses, evidence, and documentation, then combine it into an effective lawsuit. Product liability laws are complicated, so hiring an attorney with the skill, knowledge, experience, and resources to take on a large social media company is important.
Each state has a statute of limitations that generally restricts the timeframe available to file a lawsuit. This statute of limitations generally varies from one to four years from state to state. However, an experienced social media attorney can provide additional guidance and help you navigate the complexities of filing a TikTok harm lawsuit in your state.
Social Media Attorneys Experienced With Lawsuits Against TikTok
The Social Media Victims Law Center has extensive experience filing lawsuits against TikTok on behalf of their clients. Founding attorney Matt Bergman has a proven track record as a products liability attorney, having recovered over $1 billion in compensation for his clients. He was also named one of the Top 100 trial lawyers in the United States.
Contact the Social Media Victims Law Center today to request a free evaluation of your case. We’ll help you learn more about your options to hold TikTok accountable for the harm the platform causes young people.
Frequently Asked Questions
For individuals and children who have been
We only handle cases on a contingent fee basis. This means that we are paid a portion of any recovery obtained in the case and you do not owe us any attorneys’ fees if the lawsuit does not result in a recovery.
Every case is unique. Our attorneys will work with your family to evaluate your potential case and help you evaluate whether filing a lawsuit or other legal proceeding is in your family’s best interest. Generally speaking, the types of cases we handle involve serious mental health effects, including attempted or completed suicide, eating disorders, inpatient mental health treatment, or sexual trafficking/exploitation that was caused by or contributed to through addictive or problematic social media use by teens and young adults.
We are a law firm based near Seattle, WA comprised of lawyers who have spent their entire careers representing victims who have been harmed by dangerous products. We are also parents. Shocked and troubled by the recent revelations about the harm caused to teens and young adults by social media platforms, which powerful technology companies have designed to be highly addictive, Social Media Victims Law Center was launched specifically to help families and children who have suffered serious mental harm or exploitation through social media use to obtain justice.