US court dismisses case against Cognizant, Facebook
BENGALURU: A US court dismissed a petition by content moderators at Cognizant that charged the company and Facebook of failing to protect them against the psychological dangers posed by exposure to graphic images. The court said the plaintiffs had failed to establish their case. It dismissed the plaintiffs’ charges of fraudulent misrepresentation or concealment against Cognizant, and denied their request for attorneys’ fees.
The original filing dates back to February last year when over 3,000 employees of Cognizant who work as content moderators for Facebook filed a class-action complaint against the IT company and Facebook for allegedly causing psychological trauma and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
The complaint said the claims exceed $5 million in the aggregate. The initial summons and complaint were served to Cognizant on February 11. The plaintiffs, Debrynna Garrett and her colleague, filed an amended class-action complaint on March 7 and demanded jury trial. The class members are citizens of Florida and Arizona.
In their amended complaint, they detailed the risks of repeated exposure to images of extreme violence and sought to support their claims by citing numerous studies conducted by scientific organisations and government task forces. They alleged that Cognizant deliberately concealed or misrepresented the facts of a known danger, namely the dangers of exposure to “highly toxic, unsafe, and injurious content while providing content moderation services.”
Cognizant is moving out of the content moderation business.