Facebook Isn’t Subject to the ADA–Lloyd v. Facebook

Lloyd brought  a pro se lawsuit against Facebook raising a myriad of concerns. My prior blog post. The Ninth Circuit easily dismisses most of it in a breezy memorandum opinion, but the contract claim gets revived for a little longer. Some of the points covered:

  • “the ADA claim fails because Facebook is not a place of public accommodation.”
  • The Rehabilitation Act “does not apply to defendants who are private entities that do not receive federal funds.”
  • With respect to the Unruh Act, the plaintiffs “alleges no facts to support that the Meta defendants engaged in intentional discrimination.” At most, she alleged that Facebook allowed third-party ads that promoted discrimination. In a footnote, the court adds “we do not address the district court’s determination that the Unruh Act does not apply to digital-only websites.”
  • Lloyd claimed that Facebook didn’t stop a campaign of harassment and bullying against her. The court says her negligence claim is barred by Section 230. Among other reasons, “her negligence claim treats defendants as the publishers of the harassing posts.”
  • The invasion of privacy claim fails “because Facebook’s data policy gives clear notice that third party partners may share data with Facebook, Lloyd did not have a reasonable expectation of privacy in this information.” In a footnote, the court adds “we do not address the district court’s determination that Section 230 bars the invasion of privacy claim.”

All pretty standard stuff. In a mild surprise, the panel revives her breach of contract claim. The district court said that the contract claim couldn’t support diversity jurisdiction–it couldn’t have $75k in damages due to the dollar cap and consequential damages waiver in Facebook’s TOS. The Ninth Circuit says the $75k threshold includes the alleged damages from all claims Lloyd brought, even the mockable ones that have been since dismissed. This resurrects Lloyd’s breach of contract claim, but only temporarily. After more time and money at the district court, Facebook should have no problem defeating it.

Case Citation: Lloyd v. Facebook, Inc., 2024 WL 3325389 (9th Cir. July 8, 2024)