A judge on Tuesday denied motions by the attorney general for the District of Columbia to name Mark Zuckerberg, the chief executive of Meta, as a defendant in a privacy lawsuit.
District of Columbia Superior Court Judge Maurice A. Ross told a hearing that Washington Attorney General Karl Racine waited too long to try to amend the lawsuit to name Mr. Zuckerberg as a defendant, a decision that was intended to hold him personally responsible.
“The problem I have with this is that you wait three years,” Judge Ross said, referring to the addition of Mr. Zuckerberg to the case, which was filed in court in December 2018. “What value does it add to name it? There is no more relief for consumers in the neighborhood.
Judge Ross also opposed a request by Mr. Racine to depose Mr. Zuckerberg for trial.
Mr Racine’s lawsuit accused Facebook, which rebranded itself as Meta last year, of misleading consumers about the platform’s privacy by allowing Cambridge Analytica, a political consultancy, to obtain sensitive data of more than 87 million users, including more than half of the district’s residents. .
Mr. Racine tried to add Mr. Zuckerberg as a defendant in October, saying he wanted to send a message to all business leaders 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. He 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.