May 12, 2020

Burns Charest seeks approval of $52 million class action settlement with Facebook on behalf of U.S.-based content moderator class

Effective May 11, 2020, Burns Charest and California co-counsel submitted a class action settlement of $52 million with Facebook for approval by the California Superior Court, San Mateo County. Burns Charest represents a class of content moderators who worked for Facebook vendors by reviewing disturbing, graphic content for the social media giant. According to the complaint, content moderators were required to view, as a filtration mechanism, posts containing “videos, images and livestreamed broadcasts of child sexual abuse, rape, torture, bestiality, beheadings, suicide and murder,” as part of the content moderators’ duties. Since 2018, the firm has been fighting to obtain improved work conditions and medical treatment related to psychological trauma their work conditions caused.

The funds will provide monetary relief in the amount of $1000 to each of the class members. And class members who submit proof of a qualifying diagnosis will receive funds designed to cover their treatment costs and, depending on the amount remaining after treatments, serve as additional damage awards of up to $50,000. In addition to funding the settlement, Facebook has also agreed to make changes to improve the safety of its U.S.-based content moderators by improving review tools and making counseling by trained, licensed professionals available.

“The settlement is a great result for the class members,” said Daniel Charest, a managing partner of the firm. “This groundbreaking litigation fixed a major workplace problem involving developing technology and its impact on real workers who suffered in order to make Facebook safer for its users.” The Burns Charest lawyers involved were Daniel Charest, Korey Nelson, Lydia Wright, Rick Yelton, and Patrick Murphree.

When/if the Court approves the proposal, class members will receive notice of the settlement and plaintiff will file a motion for final approval on a schedule set by the Court.

A copy of the settlement agreement can be found HERE. And a copy of the motion for preliminary approval can be found HERE.

The lawsuit is Scola v. Facebook Inc. and Pro Unlimited Inc., No.18-CIV05135, filed in Superior Court of the State of California.