Teenager sues over ridicule on Facebook

March 03, 2009|By McClatchy-Tribune

NEW YORK -An Oceanside, N.Y., teenager is suing four former high school classmates, their parents and Facebook for $3 million for allegedly bullying her in a private forum on the social-networking service.

Denise Finkel, who is now a student at the University at Albany, filed a lawsuit in State Supreme Court in Manhattan accusing the former classmates of creating a password-protected Facebook group "calculated to hold the plaintiff up to public hatred, ridicule and disgrace."

The defendants - Michael Dauber, Jeffrey Schwartz, Leah Herz and Melinda Danowitz - are, like Finkel, 2008 graduates of Oceanside High School. The suit claims they asserted Finkel, among other things, participated in bestiality and contracted AIDS.

Excerpts of the Facebook group from 2007 attached as an exhibit to the lawsuit did not identify Finkel by name, but her attorney, Mark Altschul of Manhattan, said the derogatory statements referred to her.

"She had a very difficult time in high school," Altschul said. "They were making sure that she was an unwanted soul there."

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