Shaquille O’Neal Can’t Be Served Via Twitter DMs in FTX Lawsuit
Shaquille O’Neal is the last defendant to be served in a class action lawsuit against celebrities, including Tom Brady and Larry David, who endorsed FTX
lev radin/Shutterstock modified by Blockworks
Lawyers representing investors in a class-action lawsuit against celebrity endorsers of FTX have not yet served Shaquille O’Neal, who is listed as a defendant.
The lawyers asked the judge if they could serve O’Neal through his Twitter and Instagram direct messages because they have been unable to serve him in person since last fall.
Other defendants — Tom Brady, Larry David, Gisele Bundchen, Stephen Curry and Kevin O’Leary, among others — have all been served.
Edwin Garrison, a retail investor, filed the suit last year after the FTX collapse and claimed that the celebrities did not properly disclose the compensation received from promoting FTX.
In the motion to serve O’Neal through alternate means, lawyers representing Garrison claim that they “attempted personal service on Defendant O’Neal at his Texas residence on eight additional occasions over nearly a month.” They also claim to have made 12 attempts at O’Neal’s Georgia residence.
They also claim to have messaged O’Neal on Twitter, Instagram and contacted him via his attorneys’ emails.
The judge presiding over the case denied the motion.
The attempts to serve O’Neal through his social media accounts were “factually unsupported and legally insufficient. Particularly in such a complex and costly litigation for all parties involved, the Court will not continue to tolerate such violations or frivolous arguments,” Judge K. Michael Moore wrote.
The lawyers have until April 17 to serve O’Neal, which is an extension from last December. If they fail to do so, the case may proceed without O’Neal’s inclusion.
However, there is legal precedent for serving defendants through online means. In October of last year, the US Northern District of California ruled that the CFTC could serve Ooki, a decentralized autonomous organization, through its online help chat box.
And, following the bankruptcy of Three Arrows Capital, Su Zhu and Kyle Davies were served subpoenas via email and Twitter because their whereabouts were unknown.
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