A man from New Jersey is suing Grindr for not properly vetting underage users.
William Saponaro is facing criminal charges of sexual assault and endangering the welfare of a child.
On June 21st 2012, he met two men from Grindr for sex, and a week later found out that one was 13-years-old.
He is facing up to 20 years in prison.
Saponaro said he “reasonably believed [the minor] was 18 years or older.”
He filed a lawsuit against Grindr on June 19th, saying their negligence in ensuring the verification of each member’s age and this exact failing in the app’s rules was the cause of his arrest.
He is seeking damages and litigation costs.
Grindr filed a motion to dismiss the suit, on various grounds.
The New Jersey Law Journal writes:
“The company’s motion said there is no proximate cause between its alleged failure to detect an underage user and the plaintiff’s criminal prosecution. Grindr also said the plaintiff’s claim of negligent infliction of emotional distress fails because Saponaro does not allege that he is a member of the service and therefore the company has no duty of care toward him.”
Grindr also responded by saying that they are not able to control what information their users provide.
The company wants to dismiss the case based on the “failure to state a claim upon which relief can be granted.”
Grindr are also using the Communications Decency Act, to say they aren’t liable for information about their service that is provided by another party.