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Iowa family sues Snapchat for fentanyl death

(CNN, KYMA/KECY) - An Iowa family, whose loved one died after taking a Xanax laced with fentanyl, is suing Snap, the parent company of Snapchat.

They accuse the app of making it easy for their loved one to buy drugs on the platform.

Ciara Gilliam was a happy, outgoing person, and was able to make friends everywhere she went.

The lawsuit, filed by her family, says she developed a compulsion to engage with Snapchat at all hours and had trouble sleeping because of it.

It alleges the program's features connected her to other users who were complete strangers who assaulted and abused her.

It also alleges those features connected her to a dealer; she began purchasing Xanax through Snapchat to help her sleep.

She took one of those pills, according to the lawsuit. However, the pill contained fentanyl, resulting in Gilliam's death in August of last year.

Her parents have offered a reward for anyone who can help them find the person who sold her the drugs.

"Snapchat's defective design and Snap's failure to warn were substantial factors in causing Ciara Gilliam's death," the lawsuit read.

The plaintiff's also point to say Snapchat's features, like disappearing messages, maps and other unique features, facilitate illegal and deadly drug sales of counterfeit pills.

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