Judge rules fentanyl lawsuit against Snapchat’s parent company can move forward

LOS ANGELES – A judge in California has ruled that the lawsuit against Snapchat’s parent company brought on by the families of more than 60 young people who have died from fentanyl poisoning can move forward. As Emily’s Hope reported previously, the families allege that Snapchat’s disappearing messaging feature is a defective product that facilitates the illegal drug trade.

Among the grieving parents involved in the lawsuit is Sam Chapman, whose 16-year-old son purchased a fentanyl-laced pill via Snapchat. Chapman shared his heartbreaking story with Emily’s Hope founder Angela Kennecke on a podcast episode of Grieving Out Loud.

“Our child was on Snapchat, and a dealer reached out with a colorful menu of drug choices. He had a drug delivered to our home like a pizza, but it wasn’t the drug he ordered. It was pure fentanyl,” said Chapman.

The complaint, which is an expanded version of a lawsuit filed in October 2022, now runs 205 pages. It claims that Snapchat was created with a motive to cover up inappropriate conduct. The co-founders, who were Stanford students at the time, have acknowledged that vanishing photos and messages were critical elements in their design.

In response to the judge’s decision to allow the lawsuit to proceed, a spokeswoman for Snap Inc. told ABC News that the social media company will “continue to defend” itself in court.