Attorney General Todd Rokita: ‘If liable under state law, Facebook must answer for enabling sex traffickers to entice victims’

INDIANA – Federal law creates no barrier to state-law negligence and product liability claims asserted by sex-trafficking victims against companies such as Facebook, according to a brief joined by Attorney General Todd Rokita.

Todd Rokita

“Facebook might wish federal legal loopholes permitted it to evade responsibility for enabling sex trafficking,” Attorney General Rokita said. “But if liable under state law, Facebook must answer for allowing its platform to be used to entice victims.”

Attorney General Rokita joined a multistate brief siding with plaintiffs who alleged in Texas state courts that they were victims of sex trafficking who became entangled with their abusers through Facebook.

Responding to the lawsuit, Facebook officials have claimed the company cannot be held liable in the case under provisions of Section 230 of the U.S. Communications Decency Act. After the Texas Supreme Court sided in significant part with Facebook, the plaintiffs asked the U.S. Supreme Court to review the case — a request supported by the multistate coalition led by the Texas Attorney General.

The amicus brief in Jane Doe, Petitioner v. Facebook, Inc., No. 21-459, is attached.