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Lemmon v. Snap, Inc.

United States District Court for the Central District of California

February 25, 2020, Decided; February 25, 2020, Filed

Case No. CV 19-4504-MWF (KSx)

Opinion

 [*1104]  Proceedings (In Chambers): ORDER RE: MOTION TO DISMISS FIRST AMENDED COMPLAINT [50]

Before the Court is Defendant Snap Inc.'s ("Snap") Motion to Dismiss the First Amended Complaint (the "Motion"), filed on December 16, 2019. (Docket No. 50). On January 13, 2020, Plaintiffs Carly Lemmon, et al. filed an Opposition. (Docket No.  [*1105]  56). On January 27, 2020, Defendant filed a Reply. [**2]  (Docket No. 57).

The Court has read and considered the papers filed in connection with the Motion, and held a hearing on February 10, 2020.

For the reasons discussed below, the Motion is GRANTED without leave to amend. Plaintiff's claim is barred under the Communications Decency Act because the Speed Filter is a content neutral tool.

I. BACKGROUND

Plaintiffs commenced this action on May 23, 2019. (Complaint (Docket No. 1)). Plaintiffs filed a First Amended Complaint ("FAC") on November 18, 2019. (Docket No. 47).

The FAC alleges the following facts, which the Court takes as true and construes in the light most favorable to Plaintiffs. See, e.g., Schueneman v. Arena Pharms., Inc., 840 F.3d 698, 704 (9th Cir. 2016) (restating generally-accepted principle that "[o]rdinarily, when we review a motion to dismiss under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6), we accept a plaintiff's allegations as true 'and construe them in the light most favorable' to the plaintiff") (quoting Zucco Partners, LLC v. Digimarc Corp., 552 F.3d 981, 989 (9th Cir. 2009)).

On May 28, 2017, seventeen-year-old Jason Davis was driving on Cranberry Road in Walworth County, Wisconsin. (Id. ¶ 63). Seventeen-year-old Hunter Morby and twenty-year-old Landen Brown were passengers in the vehicle. (Id. ¶¶ 6, 64). The car crashed into a tree, and all three boys were killed. (Id. ¶¶ 6, 70). Plaintiffs allege [**3]  that Defendant's Speed Filter prompted the boys to drive at such dangerous speed. (Id. ¶¶ 7, 8).

Prior to the accident at issue, one or more of the boys had downloaded Snapchat to their mobile phones. (Id. ¶ 65). At some point before the accident, twenty-year-old Brown opened his Snapchat app. (Id. ¶ 66). Shortly before 7:00 p.m., the car began accelerating to a speed significantly above the speed limit, and one "Snap" captured the boys' speed at 123 miles per hour. (Id. ¶ 69). "[W]ithin minutes" of the 123-MPH-Snap, the car ran off the road and crashed into a tree. (Id. ¶ 70). Walworth County Sheriff investigators estimated the speed of the vehicle to be 113 miles per hour at the time of the crash. (Id. ¶ 72). Plaintiffs allege that Snapchat was a critical cause of the accident. (Id. ¶ 19).

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440 F. Supp. 3d 1103 *; 2020 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 34671 **; 2020 WL 913643

Carly Lemmon, et al. v. Snap, Inc.

Subsequent History: Appeal filed, 03/19/2020

Prior History: Lemmon v. Snap, Inc., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 226964 (C.D. Cal., Oct. 30, 2019)

CORE TERMS

users, Speed, website, Roommate, driving, subscribers, capture, rewards, notice, notification, mobile, recommendation, passengers, crash, video