A Kenyan court ruled Monday that Meta, Facebook’s parent company, can be sued in a case involving mental injury to a former Facebook moderator in the course of his employment. Justice Jacob Gakeri rejected Meta Platform Inc.’s and Meta Platforms Ireland Ltd’s motion to dismiss, which claimed that the court lacked jurisdiction. Justice Gakeri stated that striking out plaintiff Daniel Motaung’s case due to a lack of jurisdiction would be premature.The judge commented, “it is the finding of the court that it would be inopportune for the court to strike out the petition against the 2nd and 3rd respondents at this stage.”Meta sought to have the Employment and Labour Court dismiss Daniel Motaung’s petition on the grounds that it is not “resident, domiciled, nor trading in Kenya.” Furthermore, Meta argued that the Kenyan Constitution did not apply to them because they were foreign corporations. They also claimed that the petitioner wrongfully enjoined them as the second and third respondents. This was backed by the assertion that the two companies had no contractual obligations to the petitioner since he worked for a company Meta contracted to moderate Facebook.The petitioner countered these claims by arguing that the court had jurisdiction over the two foreign companies because they did business in Kenya. He was unable, however, to persuade the court that the two companies operated domestically to warrant the court’s jurisdiction. Nonetheless, the court held that any person may be enjoined as a respondent as long as the person is accused of violating the rights of the party suing. Furthermore, the court determined that, despite the absence of contractual obligations, it would be unwise to dismiss them as respondents. This is because the court still had important issues to address.In assessing whether the court should dismiss the petitioner’s case due to failure to comply with Order 5 Rule 21 of the Civil Procedure Rules on serving summons notices, the court took the position that it should exercise expedited justice without regard for procedural technicalities. This is in accordance with the provisions of Kenya’s 2010 Constitution. As a result, the court would afford the petitioner an opportunity to comply with the requirements outlined in the Civil Procedure Rules.
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