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Grindr Harassment Case Won’t Get Supreme Court Review

Oct. 7, 2019, 1:51 PM

A Grindr LLC user won’t get to argue to the U.S. Supreme Court that the dating app should be held liable for claims stemming from a fake profile that allegedly led hundreds of men to his home.

The high court Oct. 7 denied Matthew Herrick’s petition to review a U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit ruling tossing his allegations that the app lacked safety features to prevent fake profiles, and that it doesn’t warn users the app could be used to harass them.

The justices turned down the chance to shed light on the extent to which a decades-old website liability law, Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act, shields companies against failure to warn claims. Lawmakers have been weighing changes to Section 230, which critics say grants tech companies overly broad immunity from claims that their platforms are causing user harm.

The Second Circuit held that Section 230 bars Herrick’s product liability and failure to warn claims because they are “inextricably” tied to Grindr’s publishing and editing functions. The law protects websites from liability for displaying or editing user-posted content.

The case is Herrick v. Grindr LLC, U.S., No. 19-192, petition for review denied 10/7/19.

To contact the reporter on this story: Alexis Kramer in Washington at akramer@bloomberglaw.com

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Keith Perine at kperine@bloomberglaw.com