Social Media Mental Health Lawsuits

Social Media Youth Mental Health Lawyer

Has your child developed mental health problems because of social media platforms like Facebook or Snapchat? If so, you might have a legal case against those companies. Joe Cunningham Law is here to help you stand up for your child’s well-being and demand fair compensation for your family’s suffering.

Joe Cunningham’s experience as a defense lawyer and a U.S. Congressman for South Carolina means he has a deep understanding of the legal system and how to get things done. His formidable background and strong track record of results can significantly benefit your lawsuit.

Contact us today for a free consultation to take the first step toward accountability and justice.


What Are the Social Media Youth Mental Health Lawsuits All About?

Several social media companies, like Meta, the parent company of Instagram and Facebook, are currently facing numerous lawsuits accusing them of intentionally designing their products to addict young users. Many of these lawsuits have been consolidated for pretrial proceedings in the Northern District of California due to its proximity to the headquarters of these social media companies. Three other leading social media platforms — Snapchat, TikTok, and YouTube — are also named in this consolidated suit.

In one major lawsuit, over 30 states, led by Colorado and California, have sued Meta for using manipulative features such as “infinite scroll” and frequent notifications to hook children to Instagram and Facebook. The complaint alleges that Meta’s algorithms push harmful and toxic content to young users, violating consumer protection laws and federal children’s online privacy laws by collecting data from minors without parental consent.

Unsealed complaints from these lawsuits have revealed that Meta previously received over 1 million reports of underage users on Instagram. However, the complaints allege that Meta took minimal action to disable these accounts, thereby continuing to collect personal data like locations and email addresses illegally. The complaints also allege that Meta knowingly allowed underage usage on its platforms, contradicting its public claims about an effective age verification process.

These legal actions underscore a serious concern. Meta is accused of prioritizing profit over the safety of its youngest users by employing deceptive practices to maintain and grow its user base among children and teens. The outcomes of these lawsuits could lead to significant financial penalties for Meta and force the company to change how it operates.


What Are the Harms Being Alleged in the Social Media Mental Health Lawsuits?

The lawsuits against Meta and other social media companies allege several serious harms stemming from their platforms, particularly focused on mental health impacts on young users. These include claims that the companies designed their platforms to be addictive, encouraging prolonged and compulsive use among adolescents. Data suggest that social media use might contribute to a range of mental health issues, such as depression and anxiety. 

Further, the lawsuits allege that the platforms’ algorithms exacerbate these problems by steering young users toward toxic and harmful content. Unsealed court documents suggest that the named social media platforms have failed to protect young users from exposure to sexual predators and inappropriate content, compounding the mental and emotional risks these users face. 

Snapchat, one of the more popular social media platforms, is under fire in a pending lawsuit alleging wrongful death, negligence, and product liability. The suit characterizes Snapchat as “a haven for drug trafficking,” because 10 children (mostly teens) purchased fentanyl from drug dealers they met over Snapchat, then died of overdose.

Meanwhile, a Utah lawsuit is claiming that TikTok sneakily designed and put into practice addictive features meant to get its young users to endlessly scroll through the video app. The suit, brought under the Utah Consumer Sales Practices Act, argues that TikTok has continually misled children and their parents about its dangers. These allegations come after TikTok agreed to a $92 million class-action settlement over claims that it was capturing and disclosing user information to third parties.

Overall, these allegations paint a picture of social media companies deliberately disregarding the well-being of their youngest users in favor of maximizing engagement and profit.


What Are Some of the Key Developments in the Meta Lawsuits?

One significant development in the ongoing lawsuits against Meta involves a complaint filed by New Mexico Attorney General Raúl Torrez, accusing the company of failing to protect children from predators. This lawsuit claims Meta allowed its platforms to become environments where predators could easily trade child pornography and solicit minors for sex. The suit also asserts that Meta’s products addict children and teenagers, damaging their mental health and physical safety.

The lawsuit is based on findings from an undercover operation in which state investigators used decoy accounts to pose as children. These accounts reportedly received unsolicited, sexually explicit images and were encouraged by adults to provide pornographic content. Meta also allegedly allowed its platforms to facilitate the sharing and selling of a vast amount of child pornography and suggested unmoderated groups promoting commercial sex to the investigators’ decoy accounts.

Recent developments in this lawsuit include unsealed court documents revealing Meta’s awareness of these issues as early as 2020. The documents detail internal discussions about the ease with which adult strangers could contact children on Instagram and the platform’s “people you may know” feature that inappropriately suggested adult connections for children. The lawsuit notes that Meta only began to address these concerns after receiving external pressure, such as a potential threat from Apple to remove the company’s apps from its store.

In a major ruling, a federal judge recently decided that this case should proceed in state court, not federal court. The ruling asserted that the lawsuit’s claims under New Mexico’s unfair practices law are valid on their own, without needing to prove violations of federal laws. This decision allows New Mexico to hold Meta accountable under state law.


What Are the Latest Developments in the Social Media Harm Lawsuits?


There have been several other key developments regarding the ongoing lawsuits against Meta and other major social media companies. The U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California recently rejected several of Meta’s motions to dismiss these lawsuits. These lawsuits, which involve individuals, school districts, and state attorneys general, claim that these companies have been negligent and their products are liable for the harm caused.

Other social media platforms are also being targeted in this multidistrict litigation (MDL), as the companies who own Snapchat, TikTok, and YouTube are named as defendants. In attesting that their services are independent from Meta and, thus, operate differently, these groups claim that a “‘behemoth, industrywide MDL’ would be unmanageable.” Yet, the judicial panel overseeing the lawsuit determined that there are multiple overlapping areas among all the named social media platforms, or “indivisible injuries from multiple products.”

Additionally, the judge overseeing the MDL has scheduled the first stages of the bellwether trial for late 2025. This trial will be a key test case that could determine the outcome of hundreds of similar lawsuits from across the United States. The selection process for this trial will involve creating discovery pools for cases brought by parents and school districts, from which the judge will choose a specific case as the bellwether. 

The jury selection process for the MDL will begin on October 14, 2025. A preparatory phase, where the court will narrow down potential cases and set a sequence for them based on hearings, has also been scheduled for June 2025. These procedures will guide how the MDL cases are handled and potentially set important precedents for claims involving social media addiction and its impact on children.


Who Is Eligible to File a Social Media Lawsuit?

Adults and parents of young people who have suffered mental health issues linked to using social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, and Tiktok could be eligible to file lawsuits. If you know or suspect you have a case, an attorney can review your case and advise you on your eligibility for a lawsuit. Your lawyer can collect necessary case evidence and manage the claim filing process while you focus on your mental health and recovery.


What Damages Are Available in a Social Media Lawsuit?

A successful lawsuit against a social media company like Snap Inc. (the parent company of Snapchat) or Meta could result in the award of a wide range of damages (monetary compensation meant to remedy the losses or injuries you suffered due to the at-fault party’s actions). The current MDL complaint seeks damages for the following economic and non-economic losses the victims experienced:

  • Pain and suffering
  • Disability, impairment, and disfigurement
  • Death
  • Increased risk of injury and other serious illnesses
  • Loss of enjoyment of life
  • Loss of society
  • Aggravation or activation of preexisting conditions
  • Scarring
  • Inconvenience
  • Costs for medical care and treatment
  • Loss of wages and earning capacity


In addition, the complaint alleges that the social media companies engaged in intentional, fraudulent, and malicious behavior that showed an outright indifference to the effects this behavior would have on their victims. As such, the victims are asking for an award of punitive damages. 

Punitive damages are not meant to compensate the victims for any particular harm they suffered. Rather, they are to punish the companies for the depravity of their behavior and deter them and others from behaving that way in the future. If the court agrees, these damages could significantly increase the value of each claim.


How Can You File a Social Media Harm Lawsuit?

If you are considering filing a social media harm lawsuit, you should bring your case to Joe Cunningham, an attorney who understands how to pursue these complex cases. Joe can prepare and file your lawsuit, coordinate with other victims and legal teams as necessary, gather evidence, negotiate for a settlement, and argue your case in court. Joe can also provide dependable guidance on the types of compensation you could receive and the ideal strategies for pursuing it. 

Entrusting your case to a lawyer like Joe Cunningham enhances your chance of a successful outcome and allows you to concentrate on moving forward with your life, knowing that your case is in capable hands. By working with a lawyer, you’re leveraging their knowledge and experience to fight for the justice and compensation you deserve.


Contact a South Carolina Social Media Youth Mental Health Lawsuit Lawyer Today

Have you or your loved one suffered mental health problems because of social media? Turn to Joe Cunningham to discuss your legal options. Joe brings a wealth of experience from his legal and U.S Congressional career to advocate for your interests and plan an effective course of action.

Get the strong legal advocacy and personal attention you need and deserve. Contact Joe Cunningham Law in Charleston, South Carolina, today for a free, no-obligation initial consultation.