US: New Jersey man suing Grindr for negligence after hooking up with 13-year-old
A New Jersey man is suing Grindr, claiming the app’s lack of age verification led him to hook up with a 13-year-old.
William Saponaro Jr, 52 met with the teen and another man – neither of whom have been named – in June 2012, and claims he was assured by the other man that the teen was 18 years old, because he had been using the app.
However, after the boy turned out to be just 13, Mr Saponaro was charged with sexual assault and endangering the welfare of a child, and could end up facing a 20-year prison term.
Mr Saporno is claiming that Grindr acted “negligently” by failing to verify the teen’s age, and holds them responsible for his arrest, because he “reasonably believed [the teen] was 18 years or older”.
He also alleges that the process has caused him “emotional distress”, and is seeking damages as he was unable to attend work.
Legal representatives for Grindr claim have called for the case to be dismissed.
A Grindr spokesperson told PinkNews that it does not comment on ongoing legal action.
However, Grindr claimed: “We don’t view this as a security flaw. As part of the Grindr service, users rely on sharing location information with other users as core functionality of the application and Grindr users can control how this information is displayed.”