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Animation - a pyramid of empty milk crates against  a purple background

Can TikTok Face Liability for the Milk Crate Challenge?

The short-form, video-sharing app TikTok recently banned the milk crate challenge from its platform for “promoting or glorifying dangerous acts.” Several people sustained injuries while completing the challenge, which garnered 71 million views before TikTok removed it from the app.

What Is the Milk Crate Challenge?

The milk crate challenge involves users creating a “pyramid” or “staircase” of unstable milk crates, then walking up and down the milk crates. As expected, many people cannot keep their balance for the entire “challenge” and fall along the way.

For those who fall, the challenge can result in serious injuries. After health departments, medical professionals, and police departments condemned the milk crate challenge, TikTok banned the challenge from its app by removing popular videos and redirecting the #milkcratechallenge hashtag.

What Kinds of Injuries Does the Milk Crate Challenge Cause?

As a result of the milk crate challenge, doctors have seen fractured ribs, broken wrists, ACL and meniscus tears, shoulder dislocations, and even head and spinal cord injuries.

Medical professionals warn the challenge could lead to paralysis or death, as well.

Can I Sue TikTok?

Most of the content on TikTok, including the milk crate challenge, is user-generated, so it is difficult to say injuries from the challenge are TikTok’s fault – especially because the milk crate challenge has spread to other social platforms, like Twitter and Instagram.

Additionally, TikTok has condemned the milk crate challenge and removed it from the app, stating:

"TikTok prohibits content that promotes or glorifies dangerous acts, and we remove videos and redirect searches to our Community Guidelines to discourage such content…We encourage everyone to exercise caution in their behavior whether online or off."

If TikTok had encouraged users to participate in the milk crate challenge, there might be potential for lawsuits, but because the platform acted so quickly and users acted of their own free will, lawsuits against TikTok are unlikely.

Further, social media sites are protected by free speech, which makes suits against them extremely difficult to pursue.

Who Is Responsible for My Injuries?

If you participated in the milk crate challenge, you are likely responsible for any injuries you sustained. If you get hurt on someone else’s property, however, you may be covered under their homeowner’s insurance.

As always, Lauri J. Goldstein & Associates, PLLC can help you navigate disputes with insurance companies and handle the aftermath of serious falls.

While the milk crate challenge creates some legal grey areas, we are always ready to evaluate your case during a free consultation.

Call us 24/7 at (866) 675-4427 or contact us online to discuss your situation and the strengths and weaknesses of your case.

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