Lawsuit Against Social Media Companies and Firearm and Body Armor Manufacturers Moves Forward With New York State Supreme Court Denying Defendants’ Motions to Dismiss in Their Entirety

Mar 19, 2024

BUFFALO—In a major blow to the largest technology companies in the United States, including Meta Platforms, Google, Amazon, Alphabet (“Social Media Defendants”), and others, as well as firearm and body armor manufacturers, New York State Supreme Court Judge Paula L. Feroleto ordered a landmark lawsuit centering on a 2022 Buffalo mass shooting to move forward by denying the Defendants’ motions to dismiss the case in their entirety.

The lawsuit brought by DiCello Levitt, Ben Crump, and Connors LLP on behalf of victims’ families seeks to hold social media companies accountable for their enablement of the racially motivated mass shooting at a Tops Friendly supermarket located in a primarily Black Buffalo neighborhood, in which 10 people were killed and many were injured. 

The Court’s decision held unequivocally that the Plaintiffs claims against the Social Media Defendants were not prohibited by the Communications Decency Act nor the First Amendment. The Court also held that the Plaintiffs properly pleaded that social media applications are products pursuant to New York product liability law – deciding a significant issue of first impression. 

“At this stage of the litigation the Court must base its ruling on the allegations of the complaint and not ‘facts’ asserted by the defendants in their briefs during oral argument,” Judge Feroleto noted in her order. “The Court has determined the complaint sufficiently pleads viable causes of action to go forward at this stage of the litigation,” the order states.

DiCello Levitt Managing Partners Diandra “Fu” Debrosse, Amy Keller, and Ken Abbarno, a Buffalo native, and Founding Partner Adam Levitt, applauded the Court’s decision.

“Today is a tremendous win for the victims, their families, and for the Buffalo community. The social media Defendants purposely created a plague on our communities: applications meant to create addiction solely to generate profits. Judge Feroleto applied the law to the facts and allowed our legitimate claims to proceed,” Ms. Debrosse said.

“Mass shooting after mass shooting—we have to put a stop to adolescent boys and young men murdering people after ‘becoming radicalized by social media products.’ Congress is not acting and unable to push meaningful litigation forward to address this national crisis, so we will. And we’ll continue our fight to ensure that these families get justice,” Ms. Keller added.

“Social media companies turning a blind eye to the evil that they create needs to stop. This ruling is another step in this courageous fight by the families of the Buffalo mass shooting, a fight that will continue until these companies are held accountable,” Mr. Abbarno said.

“This groundbreaking ruling will enable us to not only bring justice to the families, who lost loved ones in this tragedy, but it will also allow our team to make a case against social media platforms being a breeding ground for violent thoughts culminating in horrific actions,” Founding Partner Adam Levitt added.  “It is this type of creative and cutting-edge advocacy that sets our firm apart in its quest for true justice for our clients.”

The case is: Kimberly J. Salter, et al. v. Meta Platforms, et al.

About DiCello Levitt

At DiCello Levitt, we’re dedicated to achieving justice for our clients through civil and human rights, business-to-business, public client, class action, whistleblower, personal injury, and mass tort litigation. Our lawyers are highly respected for their ability to litigate and win cases—whether by trial, settlement, or otherwise—for people who have suffered harm, global corporations that have sustained significant economic losses, and public clients seeking to protect their citizens’ rights and interests. Every day, we put our reputations—and our capital—on the line for our clients.

DiCello Levitt has achieved top recognition as 2023 Plaintiffs Firm of the Year and 2023 Trial Innovation Firm of the Year by the National Law Journal, in addition to its top-tier Chambers and Benchmark ratings. For more information about the firm, including recent trial victories and case resolutions, please visit

Media Contact

Christine Schiffner: (703) 862-5202 or

Comments are closed.