Families of overdose victims file lawsuit against Snapchat over drug delivery deaths

ByWill Reeve ABCNews logo
Friday, February 3, 2023
Families file lawsuit against Snapchat over drug delivery deaths
Families of more than 50 overdose victims accuse the app of enabling drug dealers.

Families of more than 50 overdose victims have filed a lawsuit against Snapchat, accuse the app of enabling drug dealers.

The families say the social media platform enables drug dealers to sell fake prescription pills laced with deadly doses of fentanyl to minors and young adults.

"They all lost a child to fentanyl poisoning through counterfeit drugs obtained through Snap -- not through Instagram, not through TikTok -- but through Snap. This isn't an internet problem. This isn't a social media problem. This is a Snapchat problem," said Matthew Bergman, the founding attorney of Social Media Victims Law Center.

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According to the lawsuit obtained by ABC News, from 2020-2022, Snapchat was allegedly a conduit for over 75% of the fentanyl poisoning deaths of children between the ages of 13 to 18, who connected with a dealer over social media.

The dealers claim they are prescription drugs, but are often counterfeit and contain lethal levels of fentanyl.

"No parent should have to go through this," said Fran Humphreys.

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Humphreys said her 20-year-old daughter Sophia was sold fake Percocet pills through Snapchat in June 2021. Two days later, she was found unresponsive in her bed.

"Immediately, the law enforcement took her phone and the detective called us shortly after and said that they were able to see that she had purchased it from a Snapchat dealer," Humphreys said.

The lawsuit claims Snapchat's features, like disappearing messages, appeal to drug dealers and make their illegal activity hard to track.

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In a statement, Snap Inc. told ABC News it cannot comment on active litigation but claims it is using "cutting-edge technology to... proactively find and shut down drug dealers' accounts" and is continually expanding its "support for law enforcement investigations."