A judge on Tuesday threw out motions by the attorney general of the District of Columbia to name Mark Zuckerberg, the chief executive of Meta, as a defendant in a privacy lawsuit.
Judge Maurice A. Ross of the D.C. Superior Court said in a hearing that Washington’s attorney general, Karl Racine, had waited too long to try to amend their lawsuit to name Mr. Zuckerberg as a defendant, a move that sought to hold him personally accountable.
“The problem I have with this is you wait three years,” Judge Ross said, referring to the addition of Mr. Zuckerberg on the case first filed in 2018. “What value does it add to name him? There’s no more relief for the consumers of the District.”
Judge Ross also opposed a demand by Mr. Racine to depose Mr. Zuckerberg for the lawsuit.
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Mr. Racine’s complaint against Facebook was filed in December 2018 in the Superior Court of the District of Columbia. The suit charges that Facebook misled consumers about privacy on the platform by allowing Cambridge Analytica, a political consulting firm, to obtain sensitive data from more than 87 million users, including more than half the district’s residents.
Mr. Racine tried to add Mr. Zuckerberg as a defendant in October, saying that he wanted to send a message to all corporate chief executives that they could be responsible for harming consumers. Mr. Zuckerberg, by being named in the lawsuit, could have been exposed to financial and other penalties.
Facebook is at the center of multiple legal battles with regulators. It is the target of antitrust and consumer protection lawsuits by the Federal Trade Commission and several state attorneys general.
Meta and Mr. Racine’s office declined to comment.