Parents sue TikTok for death of 9-year-old daughter after doing the 'Blackout Challenge'

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Monday, July 18, 2022
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"We just never thought there was a darker side to what Tik Tok allows on its platform," Arriani's mom said.

MILWAUKEE, Wisconsin -- A family is filing a lawsuit against TikTok after their daughter died doing a challenge on the app.

Nine-year-old Arriani Arroyo passed away in February 2021 after participating in the "Blackout Challenge."

"Just the sadness I see in my son's eyes to sing happy birthday to his sister at her grave. It's very hard. For all of us. But this is the life now we have to adjust to. We sat at a table of four chairs. We sit now at three," Arriani's mom said. "We just never thought there was a darker side to what TikTok allows on its platform."

A TikTok spokesperson referred ABC News to a statement the company released last year about the challenge, saying it predates the platform and has never been a TikTok trend.

The statement said:

"We remain vigilant in our commitment to user safety and would immediately remove related content if found. Our deepest sympathies go out to the family for their tragic loss."

"If you see something online and you see people framing it as fun or a challenge or something interesting, you're sort of gamifying the particular thing and decreasing people's perception of the risks," Arriani's dad said. "We don't want no other children out there to be a statistic of this situation again."

This isn't the only case that has surfaced from the TikTok challenge.

In July 2021, an 8-year-old from Texas, Lalani Walton, was also found dead from recreating the short video.

In Pennsylvania, a 10-year-old girl died in December 2021 after attempting that very same TikTok challenge.

"I live every day of my life in her honor, because every day of my life as a mother, I'm surviving the day. Because this is not easy to wake up every day and know that your little girl is never coming back. You're never going to hear her voice. You're never going to see her smile or hear her say, 'I love you,'" Arriani's mom said.