ORDER for Initial Pretrial and Scheduling Conference and Order to Disclose Interested Persons.
Initial Conference set for 12/3/2021 at 09:00 AM in Courtroom 8C before Judge Alfred H Bennett.
My, my, Bennett’s NOT adding this case to the Dec., 10, 2021 Conferences…
(Signed by Judge Alfred H Bennett) Parties notified.(hcarradi, 4) (Entered: 09/03/2021)
I. OVERVIEW OF THE LAWSUIT
Backpage was the largest sex trafficking website in the world until it was seized by the U.S. Department of Justice and shut down in 2018. The key to Backpage’s dominance of the sex trafficking market was its relationship with Salesforce. Salesforce is a technology company that provides customizable software and personalized support to help its clients operate their businesses, manage their relationships with their customers, and market themselves to new customers.
Beginning in 2013, Salesforce entered into the first of several lucrative contracts with Backpage. Through providing technology and support to Backpage, Salesforce succeeded in greatly expanding Backpage’s business to become the dominant force in online sex trafficking. The relationship between Backpage and Salesforce endured for years, even while Backpage was under criminal investigation and even after its CEO was arrested on sex crimes charges. Although Salesforce knew that Backpage was engaged in criminal trafficking and knew that its own actions facilitated trafficking on Backpage, Salesforce continued to do business with Backpage until it was shut down.
The venture between Salesforce and Backpage left many trafficking victims in its wake. Plaintiff was one victim. Between early 2014 and mid 2017, Plaintiff was trafficked on Backpage and was repeatedly sold for illegal sex against her will. Plaintiff’s trafficker paid money to Backpage to post explicit ads through which Plaintiff was sold. The trafficking of Plaintiff on Backpage occurred during the contractual relationship between Backpage and Salesforce and was facilitated by the tools and operational support that Salesforce provided to Backpage.
4. Both Texas and federal statutes permit sex trafficking victims like Plaintiff to recover civilly against both sex traffickers and those who benefit financially from facilitating sex trafficking. Plaintiff files this lawsuit to hold Backpage and Salesforce accountable under these anti-trafficking laws.
U.S. District Court
SOUTHERN DISTRICT OF TEXAS (Houston)
CIVIL DOCKET FOR CASE #: 4:21-cv-02856
|Doe v. Salesforce.com, Inc. et al
Assigned to: Judge Alfred H Bennett
Cause: 28:1331 Fed. Question: Tort Action
|Date Filed: 09/01/2021
Jury Demand: Plaintiff
Nature of Suit: 890 Other Statutory Actions
Jurisdiction: Federal Question
|Jane Doe||represented by||Kenneth T Fibich
Fibich Leebron Copeland Briggs
Houston, TX 77005
ATTORNEY TO BE NOTICED
|Date Filed||#||Docket Text|
|09/01/2021||1||COMPLAINT against All Defendants (Filing fee $ 402 receipt number 0541-26981025) filed by Jane Doe. (Attachments: # 1 Civil Cover Sheet)(Fibich, Kenneth) (Entered: 09/01/2021)|
|09/01/2021||2||Request for Issuance of Summons as to Backpage.com, LLC, filed.(Fibich, Kenneth) (Entered: 09/01/2021)|
|09/01/2021||3||Request for Issuance of Summons as to Salesforce.com, Inc., filed.(Fibich, Kenneth) (Entered: 09/01/2021)|
|09/03/2021||4||ORDER for Initial Pretrial and Scheduling Conference and Order to Disclose Interested Persons. Initial Conference set for 12/3/2021 at 09:00 AM in Courtroom 8C before Judge Alfred H Bennett. (Signed by Judge Alfred H Bennett) Parties notified.(hcarradi, 4) (Entered: 09/03/2021)|
|09/15/2021||5||Summons Issued as to All Defendants. Issued summons delivered to plaintiff by NEF, filed. (Attachments: # 1 Summon)(hlerma, 4) (Entered: 09/15/2021)|
|09/30/2021||6||RETURN of Service, filed.(Fibich, Kenneth) (Entered: 09/30/2021)|