A lawsuit against Snapchat over the company’s speed filter feature will be allowed to proceed. The Georgia Court of Appeals ruled that the tech company is not immune from the lawsuit under the federal Communications Decency Act (CDA).
Snapchat was sued in 2015 by the victim of an accident, in which an 18-year-old driver was going more than 100 mph while using the app’s speed filter. The driver slammed into Wentworth Maynard’s vehicle, severely injuring him. Maynard and his wife then sued Snapchat for negligence and loss of consortium.
Snapchat not Covered by CDA Immunity Clause
The lawsuit was dismissed in 2016 when the judge cited the CDA, which protects online publishers of third-party content. According to Judge Josh Thacker, Snapchat was considered a publisher and could not be liable for content created by third parties.
However, the Georgia Court of Appeals found that the CDA’s immunity coverage only applies to a computer service provider that is not also an “information content provider”—that is, someone who is responsible for the creation or development of the content in question. The Court ruled that there was no third-party user content published, so the statute does not apply to this case. The Maynards are not suing Snapchat over posts created by third-party users; rather, they seek to hold the company liable for the creation, design and maintenance of the speed filter feature, which they believe encourages excessive speeding by users.
“The Court has made a fair and reasonable decision to allow this case to continue to trial,” said Attorney Walter Clark, founder of Walter Clark Legal Group.
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DISCLAIMER: The Walter Clark Legal Group blog is intended for general information purposes only and is not intended as legal or medical advice. References to laws are based on general legal practices and vary by location. Information reported comes from secondary news sources. We do handle these types of cases, but whether or not the individuals and/or loved ones involved in these accidents choose to be represented by a law firm is a personal choice we respect. Should you find any of the information incorrect, we welcome you to contact us with corrections.
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