Home > News > Attorney Tries to Bring SexSearch Suit Into Class Action • Bookmark   • Newsletters   • Register Search Options

NEWS STORY

Attorney Tries to Bring SexSearch Suit Into Class Action

Attorney Tries to Bring SexSearch Suit Into Class Action
Get XBIZ News
Apr 9, 2007 9:54 AM PDT    Text size: 
LAKEWOOD, Ohio — In a case that underlies the inherent risks to social networking and dating sites that allow users to post their own content, a lawsuit involving one of the adult industry’s best known brands could be taking another turn.

The plaintiff’s attorney in the case involving SexSearch.com over claims that a customer was allowed to chat online with a minor and later had sex with her said that he will attempt to bring the case into class action.

“This is the next step,” plaintiff’s counsel Dean Boland told XBIZ last week.

In court filings obtained by XBIZ, the plaintiff has asked from one of the defendants named in the suit that they reveal through discovery all customer records, including credit card data, payment history, as well as all of the domain names the defendant owns.

That data could open a floodgate for class-action litigation involving anyone who has ever visited SexSearch.com

Boland, who represents the John Doe plaintiff, also said that the class-action angle would be the tip of the iceberg in claims against the company and its partners.

“We plan on notifying attorney generals in several states regarding the case,” he said. “When a person signs up for SexSearch, they are promised that they are dealing with an all-adult community. There is a promise that everyone is 18.”

Boland contends Hollywood, Calif.-based SexSearch and its partners had a duty to filter out participation with minors.

One of the law firms representing six of the defendants wrote in a memo to the court that the request through discovery is “obviously vague, overbroad and needlessly invasive.”

“Such information is obviously irrelevant to, and will not lead to, admissible evidence regarding any of plaintiff's claims on the merits, all of which involve plaintiff's attempt to recover damages from the SexSearch.com website operator for the harm plaintiff claims he suffered when plaintiff sexually molested a child,” said the memo written by attorneys from Columbus, Ohio-based Kravitz, Brown and Dortch.

The plaintiff, whose name or age was not revealed in the complaint, said he was tricked into believing that the minor was in fact over the age 18 because she posted information that stated so, and that SexSearch represented to him that it verifies the age of all members who use their site.

More than a month after having consensual intercourse with the minor at her home, the man was arrested and charged with a variety of charges of unlawful conduct with a minor, the complaint said. His criminal trial, where he could face up to 15 years in prison, has not yet commenced.

The 14-year-old minor, whose profile was active on SexSearch until it was removed by her parents, included her photo on the site, as well as listings that said she was looking for a “1 on 1 sexual encounter,” and that her ideal match included her interest in a male “who can last for a long time.”

The suit’s long list of defendants include some well-known adult industry brand names in addition to SexSearch, including Playboy, Jenna Jameson, Club Jenna, Moniker Online Services, Manic Media and Stallion.com.

Boland, who contends that there isn’t any “substantial” age-verification systems on any of the Internet’s social-networking sites, noted that there are probably deep pockets for a class-action suit.

“SexSearch says its has 10 million members,” he said. “We figure that they bring in $200 million a month. That would bring their annual revenue at $2.4 billion.”

Boland also warned that other social-networking companies could soon find themselves involved through litigation over age-verification.

“Adult Friendfinder — they are next,” he said. “The whole industry is going to be rocked.”

More ways to get XBIZ News:  RSS Feeds  |  E-Newsletters  |  Desktop Widget  |  Mobile
Looking for porn star news and behind-the-scene videos? Check out XFANZ.com !

PROFILES & BIOS

2017 XBIZ Webstar of the Year Harriet Sugarcookie Dares to Evolve

Start with a heaping helping of charming personality, sprinkle a dash of delightful quirky antics, then lather the final product with a whopping dollop of sensual sweetness… and what do you get?... More »

2017 XBIZ Trans Performer of the Year Reigns Supreme

It’s easy to see Aubrey Kate now — the modelesque, blonde bombshell — and dismiss her recent awards in the erotic arts as inevitable. It’s easy to say that she was simply born with... More »

WIA Profile: Carmen Miller-Branch

Each month, industry news media organization XBIZ spotlights the career accomplishments and outstanding contributions of Women in Adult. WIA profiles offer an intimate look at the professional lives of... More »
XBIZ NEWSLETTERS
Stay informed of the latest industry developments. Get XBIZ newsletters delivered to your inbox. Subscribe today!
Enter email address:

* To manage existing subscriptions click here.






POPULAR PRODUCTS & SERVICES
Submit your press release to
multiple news outlets with 1 click.
Subscribe to RSS news feeds or
add free content to your website.
Access XBIZ news and articles
with your mobile device.
Subscribe to XBIZ Premiere magazine, the industry's leading adult retail trade publications, delivering the most timely and comprehensive business news and information to producers and retailers of adult products.

UPCOMING EVENTS

XBIZ Retreat

May 30 - Jun 03
Miami, Florida

XBIZ Miami 2017

May 30 - Jun 02
Miami, Florida

XShow 18+ 2017

Jun 01 - Jun 03
Moscow, Russia

Cam Summit

Jun 02 - Jun 04
Lloret de Mar, Spain
Everyday thousands of business professionals browse XBIZ's industry directory for quality products and services. Not listed yet? Your company could be losing potential new business. Submit your company today!
Use XBIZ RSS feeds to stay informed of the latest industry developments or as a content syndication tool for your website!