In February we reported on the case of Matthew Herrick, a 32-year-old actor/model who claimed he was the victim of what amounted to catfishing-by-proxy and serial harassment after his ex-boyfriend set up a fake account featuring Herrick’s photo and sent hundreds of sex-hungry men to his house.
Herrick sued Grindr, accusing it of “negligence, intentional infliction of emotional distress, false advertising, and deceptive business practices for allowing him to be impersonated and turned into an unwitting beacon for stalkers and harassers.”
Grindr this week asked a judge to dismiss the case and said it was protected by the Communications Decency Act, the AP reports:
Grindr said it can’t be blamed because Herrick, a 32-year-old restaurant worker pursuing a career in acting and modeling, got “mixed up with a tech savvy, judgment-proof individual.”
The company said the lawsuit must be dismissed because Herrick’s lawyers “cannot identify any cases in which a court found that a website owed a duty to protect a plaintiff from third-party content. This is unsurprising, given Congress’ explicit instruction in the CDA that no such duty exists.”
According to the lawsuit, the revenge-seeking boyfriend’s fake profile said that Herrick was interested in BDSM and unprotected rough sex and rape fantasies, and also that he was HIV positive, which he is not.