Should Google Be Held Responsible For Allegedly Giving Out Bad Directions To A Woman Who Was Hit By a Vehicle?
In the early days of our blog, one of our earliest posts concerned a man who (unsuccessfully) sued his dry cleaners for $54 million for supposed consumer abuse for losing his suit pants and attempting to replace them with a different, cheaper pair that did not belong to him. Now a woman is suing Google because, after using her Blackberry to Google walking directions for a trip in Park City, Utah, she claims she was led onto a busy highway, where she was struck by a vehicle. She is suing the driver of the vehicle and Google for damages in excess of $100,000. Lauren Rosenberg used Google Maps on January 19, 2009, via her Blackberry, to get directions between 96 Daly Street, Park City, Utah and 1710 Prospector Avenue, Park City, Utah. Google provided these, telling her as part of the route to walk for about 1/2 mile along the calm-sounding Deer Valley Drive. Little did she know that thats an alternative name for that section of Utah State Route 224, a highway that lacks sidewalks, the case says. Rosenberg says Google did not warn her about this, making, her suit alleges, Google directly at fault in the accident. The case, Rosenberg v. Harwood, was filed in U.S. District Court in Utah. Before wechuckle past this, it might be worth noting that when one uses a laptop to access Google Maps for walking directions, there is a very clear warning that reads: "Walking Direction are in Beta. Use caution--This route may be missing sidewalks or pedestrian paths." This warning may not appear if someone uses an iPhone or a Blackberry. So is this a legitimate failure to warn case? Googles disclaimer could be construed as it having knowledge that someone following Google Maps walking directions might unknowingly be at risk if blindly following the directions that is as having knowledge of the dangerous nature of its own product. But of course the Google Maps pedestrian presumably has eyes, ears and a brain and does not have to continue following directions that have put the person in a position of peril. (One comment I saw on a website suggests that Ms. Rosenberg should also sue her parents, because she was born without a brain! The exact circumstances of Ms. Rosenbergs accident have not come out as yet. I guess we cant blame her lawyer for trying. The lawyers at Levine & Slavit have decades of experience handling personal injury claims including those involving auto accidents. For over 50 years spanning 3 generations, we have obtained results for satisfied clients. We have offices in Manhattan and Long Island, handling cases in New York City, the Bronx, Brooklyn, Queens and surrounding areas. If you or someone close to you has been injured in a motor vehicle accident, contact the personal injury lawyers at Levine & Slavit for their help. To learn more, watch our videos.