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Delaware County Mother Suing TikTok After Daughter Dies While Performing 'Blackout Challenge'

CHESTER, Pa. (CBS) -- A Delaware County mother is suing TikTok after her daughter died while performing the blackout challenge. The mother says she never wants to see this happen to another family.

"I cannot stop replaying this day in my head," Tawainna Anderson said. "The unbreakable bond in our family is now shattered and ruined."

The day is Dec. 7, 2021. That's when Anderson's 10-year-old daughter, Nylah, was found unconscious in her bedroom in Chester. Anderson says Nylah had performed the popular Tiktok blackout challenge. Nylah died five days later.

"I want to hold this company accountable," Anderson said. "It is time that these dangerous challenges come to an end, that other families don't experience the heartbreak we live every day."

The challenge tells people to hold their breath until they faint.

"Our lawsuit is not about simply somebody posting the video, it's about the actions that TikTok took to send the video to Nylah," said Jeffrey Goodman, partner at Saltz Mongeluzzi & Bendesky P.C.

The lawsuit states that TikTok's algorithm targeted Nylah and other young people, bombarding her with these videos.

Attorneys for Saltz Mongeluzzi and Bendesky say at least six other deaths are associated with the challenge.

"We have brought this claim against TikTok, saying it is inappropriate, unsafe and dangerous to send these to children," Robert Mongeluzzi said.

In addition to this lawsuit, the Pennsylvania Attorney General's Office is also investigating TikTok and the possible impact it is having on young people as well.

Attorney generals from nine states are involved in the investigation into whether TikTok is violating state consumer protection laws. Nylah's mother says she is doing what she can to protect other children.

"I have accepted that my daughter's voice is gone forever so I'm going to speak for her and the message here today is something has to change," Anderson said.

In a statement, TikTok said, "This disturbing 'challenge,' which people seem to learn about from sources other than TikTok, long predates our platform and has never been a TikTok trend. 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."

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