A Federal appeals court victory gives a human trafficking victim the right to sue Salesforce for facilitating human trafficking.
The law firm of Fibich, Leebron, Copeland & Briggs recently won a case involving sex trafficking The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit ruled that an Illinois federal judge wrongly dismissed a civil claim against Salesforce.
According to court filings, the plaintiff, G.G., ran away from home when she was thirteen in 2016. She was then picked up by a sex trafficker, who used Backpage.com to sell her into prostitution.
The question at the center of the case is: Can Salesforce, which contracted with Backpage several years after it came to light that Backpage was being used to facilitate sex trafficking, be held liable for facilitating the pimping and rape of a minor child. Initially, a federal judge in Illinois said no. Judge Andrea R. Wood dismissed the lawsuit, brought by G.G. and her mother. Judge Wood of the Northern District of Illinois ruled the controversial Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act shielded companies like Salesforce from illicit activities committed by third parties.
This ruling was appealed by Tommy Fibich of the Fibich Firm. The appellate court ruled that the plaintiff plausibly alleged that Salesforce knew or should have known that it was facilitating the sex trafficking of minors. The plaintiff’s mother claims she found her daughter in advertisements for escorts on the Backpage site. Backpage failed to remove these advertisements even after she was referred to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children.
According to Seventh Circuit, Salesforce “knowingly benefited” from Backpage’s illicit activity. Further the Court ruled that the language in Section 230 does not protect Salesforce in this case. The attorneys at Fibich, Leebron, Copeland & Briggs applauded the decision, saying this decision is correct and victims of sexual assault and sex trafficking will get their day in court.
“The sex trafficking of minors creates wounds that never fully heal,” said Kenneth T. Fibich, attorney for the plaintiff. “The victims deserve to hold Salesforce accountable for what the victims have gone through. The Court of Appeals made the right decision today, and we will continue to fight for victims’ rights. Predators must be stopped, and institutions that allow these obscenities to occur will held accountable for their actions.”
The case is G.G. et al. v. Salesforce.com, Inc., case number 22-2621.
About Fibich, Leebron, Copeland & Briggs
The Houston personal injury attorneys of Fibich, Leebron, Copeland & Briggs are strong advocate abused women. They represent victims of human trafficking, sexual assault, and other forms of personal injury. They are headquartered in Houston, TX, and handle cases throughout the nation. To learn more about the firm, visit https://fibichlaw.com/ or call them at (713) 496-0549.
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