C.A. GOLDBERG, PLLC and VOGT & LONG PC file product liability lawsuit against online platform Omegle for sex trafficking minor
– Suit claims Omegle is liable for damages under product liability and sex trafficking laws for pairing children with adults for online sex.
– Suit claims Omegle caused 11 year-old Plaintiff to spend three years in sexual servitude to a pedophile who gained access to her and was able to groom her through the online chat room.
Carrie Goldberg and Naomi Leeds of C.A. GOLDBERG, PLLC and Barbara C. Long of VOGT & LONG PC have filed a lawsuit in the District of Oregon against OMEGLE.COM LLC for violating product liability and sex trafficking laws.
According to the lawsuit, “This is a product liability case against a company whose product procures children for sexual predators.”
Omegle is a website founded in 2009 that randomly pairs strangers for video chats. It markets itself to children as young as 13. The platform’s common use is for strangers to engage in online sex with one another. The design of the platform – the anonymity of users and lack of age inquires or verifications — makes it inevitable that children and adults will match. Consequently, the platform is a magnet for child predators.
In approximately 2014, Omegle paired then eleven-year-old plaintiff (“A.M.”) with a man who was in his late thirties. Quickly gaining A.M.’s trust, the man procured naked photos and videos of A.M. and blackmailed her to send more. Over the next three years, the man forced A.M. to constantly engage in degrading sexual performances for he and his friends. He also dispatched A.M. back onto Omegle to recruit other children for him to abuse.
This lawsuit claims Omegle is defective in design, negligent in warning, and reckless in moderation. The lawsuit points to the fact that Omegle has continued to be the subject of warnings from cybercrime experts and law enforcement officers all over the world yet has taken no known action to mitigate the threat of child exploitation on their platform. Indeed, they flout the dangers of their product on their own homepage.
“The owners of Omegle know that children are routinely victimized on its platform. Omegle’s popular use is for online sex and it welcomes underage users. The horror our client faced starting at age 11 when Omegle matched her with a child predator was a natural consequence of the inherent and foreseeable dangers of its product. I’m so proud of our client, A.M. for channeling her pain to make the world safer for others with this important product liability lawsuit. May this be a bright burning warning to all tech companies that if you hurt children, we will hunt you down, and make you answer to your victims in court.”
“This is a lawsuit about a child being injured by a bad product that was used in its intended way. The owners of Omegle know that children are regularly victimized on its platform and yet continue to pair underage users and predators into live video chats together. I am so proud our client for using her pain to bring this important and groundbreaking case.’
C.A. Goldberg, PLLC is excited to again hold a tech company accountable under the products liability theory we pioneered in the 2nd Circuit Case Herrick v. Grindr.
SOURCE C.A. Goldberg, PLLC
Read the complaint:A.M. v. OMEGLE.COM LLC