CaseyGerry partner and head of Mass torts, Frederick Schenk has been appointed to the Plaintiffs Steering Committee in the Social Media Judicial Council Coordination Proceedings (JCCP) lawsuit against several of the world’s biggest Social media companies, including Facebook and Instagram, YouTube, SnapChat, TikTok, and others.
Schenk was appointed to the steering committee by Judge Kuhl of the Los Angeles Superior Court. The steering committee will be tasked with overseeing the plaintiff’s prosecution of civil cases arising from the social media addiction litigation filed in the Superior Court’s of the State of California.
Schenk will be working closely with a distinguished team of other law firms to hold social media companies accountable for allegedly encouraging social media addiction in young users, despite their knowing the negative impact such use has on the physical and mental health of those individuals and their families.
CaseyGerry first reported on social media addiction in children in October 2022 after a report was published by a former employee of META (Facebook) alleging that social media companies were aware of addictive behaviors in their younger audience, and purposefully designed algorithms to encourage more use. Read the full post here.
The report included research findings implying social media addiction negatively impacted the mental well-being of children resulting in side effects such as depression, suicidal thoughts and suicide, antisocial behavior, body dysmorphia and anxiety.
This JCCP is a second attempt at holding tech companies accountable for the intentional design of social media platforms to increase use and addictive behavior. Last year, California State Senator, Nancy Skinner proposed a bill, which would allow the attorney general and district attorneys to file civil lawsuits against these companies. The bill was heavily lobbied by the tech industry and ultimately did not pass. This year, Skinner is re-introducing a modified version of the bill, SB 287, which will now also allow for individuals to file lawsuits against social media companies within four years of the alleged harm caused. Schenk will be working to help on the passage of the updated bill.
Frederick Schenk is a highly respected trial attorney and has decades of experience in personal injury and Mass Torts. He is a Lawdragon 500 Hall of Fame inductee. He is a Super Lawyer, a Best Lawyer and was recognized in San Diego as Best Lawyers 2014 and 2018 Lawyer of the Year in Mass Tort Litigation/Class Actions.