Ten additional plaintiffs have joined a federal lawsuit on behalf of the Pulse nightclub shooting victims, claiming that Twitter, Google, and Facebook allowed their platforms to be used to radicalize the nightclub shooter.
The Orlando Sentinel reports that this lawsuit marks the second in recent weeks where over a dozen victims or family members of victims of the Pulse nightclub shooting are suing over the incident. In a second lawsuit, the security firm G4S where terrorist Omar Mateen worked is also being sued.
One of the new plaintiffs in the case brought against the social media giants is Christine Leinonen, the mother of the deceased victim Christopher “Drew” Leinonen. “I think this is one lawsuit that may actually work, so that we could prevent some future tragedies. It’s not going to eliminate them altogether because the [expletive] that want to distribute this kind of carnage can still meet in a coffeehouse or a cave or wherever,” said Leinonen. “They are taking men who might be slightly angry because they’re not getting along with their boss or their wife, and they’re making monsters out of them.”
Leinonen stated that money received from the lawsuit would go towards her son’s foundation, The Dru Project, which aims to support gay-straight alliances in schools. “Even if the damages are minimal, that’s irrelevant. I have the opportunity to eradicate future evil. That would promote my son’s honor, his name, his legacy,” Leinonen said.
The lawsuit seeks to have a judge declare that the social media companies violated the Anti-Terrorism Act by allowing terrorist groups such as ISIS to utilize their platforms. The social media companies have already filed a motion for dismissal in response to the lawsuit. The lawsuit was filed in December by Michigan-based firm 1-800-Law-Firm on behalf of the family members of three deceased Pulse nightclub victims, and ten more plaintiffs joined the lawsuit last week.
The suit claims that ISIS used social media websites to radicalize Omar Mateen which led to the Pulse nightclub massacre, however, the social media companies have claimed that there are no facts indicating that the Orlando attack “was in any way impacted, helped by, or the result of ISIS’s presence on the social networks.”
The new members of the lawsuit are Lydia Perez and family members of the deceased Jean Carlos Mendez Perez, Carlos Sanfeliz and Maria Sanfeliz-Mendoza, family of deceased victim Christopher Joseph Sanfeliz, Jose Luis Vielma, family of the late Luis Sergio Vielma, Jackson J. Josaphat, family of the deceased Jason B. Josaphat and Stanley Almodovar, family of the late Stanley Almodovar III. Four of the plaintiffs are also Pulse victims who recovered from the attack, Chris Littlestar, Nicholaz Perez, Asael Abad and Jillian Amador.