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Ohio pension fund leads class action lawsuit against Facebook's parent company

The Facebook is icon is seen on a smartphone.
Brett Jordan
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Attorney General Dave Yost said the company misled the public about its efforts to protect users. It resulted in $3 million losses to the Ohio Public Employee Retirement System.

Ohio will take lead in a series of class action lawsuits against Meta, the parent company of Facebook and Instagram, to recover millions of lost dollars from state retirement funds, investors, and to change its internal practices.

Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost claims that the social media giant lied to the public about the harm its products caused to its users.

“It came directly because of the lies Facebook told about what they were doing to protect children from the harmful effects of its algorithm," Yost said.

Yost said those claims boosted Facebook’s stock, before an internal employee released documents that "underscored" the company choosing “profit over safety.”

"Obviously that share price for Meta, what used to be called Facebook, hit the skids and that's what this lawsuit is all about," he said.

As a result, the Ohio Public Employee Retirement System incurred $3 million in losses.

"And $3 million is real money, even in Columbus," he said.

Judge Jon S. Tigar of the U.S District Court of Northern California, chose PFA Pension of Denmark to co-lead the case, as both entities had the largest financial interest. The California Public Employees Retirement System also petitioned to serve as lead plaintiff and is suing the company.

If successful, other retirement systems and investors that lost money can file claims to recover those funds.

Tyler Thompson as a reporter and on-air host for 89.7 NPR News. Thompson, originally from northeast Ohio, has spent the last three years working as a Morning Edition host and reporter at NPR member station KDLG Public Radio and reporter at the Bristol Bay Times Newspaper in Dillingham, Alaska.