MESA, Ariz. — An East Valley family is filing a wrongful death lawsuit against Snapchat after their 17-year-old son fatally overdosed in 2020 from drugs allegedly purchased through the social media platform.
The family of Zach Plunk, a 17-year-old football player from Hamilton High School, allege Snapchat was responsible for creating a "drug cartel" by promoting features that enabled drug dealers to sell pills to minors.
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“Snap is the only social media product that targets children while also encouraging anonymity – a feature sought by every drug dealer and predator to avoid capture and prosecution,” said Matthew P. Bergman, founder of the Social Media Victims Law Center, which filed the lawsuit on behalf of the Plunk family.
In August 2020, Plunk had apparently intended to buy Percocet from an online dealer he allegedly met through Snapchat. But the drugs he ingested contained a lethal dose of fentanyl.
Plunk was found unconscious outside the family's home and died before paramedics arrived.
His parents have since gotten involved in generating public awareness of the dangers of fentanyl and the alleged hazards of letting teens use Snapchat.
Representatives of Snapchat announced earlier this year it was changing some of the platform's features to make it harder for drug dealers to use its app to find potential customers.
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