After a Utah resident was struck by a car while crossing a highway, she filed a lawsuit against the driver of the car – but named Google as a defendant as well. Since, you know, they’re the ones that told her to cross the road.
The lawsuit states that Google should have known that the directions they gave her (when she accessed Google Maps on her cell phone) sent her down a rural highway with vehicles traveling at a high rate of speed, lacking pedestrian sidewalks. And that they therefore had a duty to warn her, rather than sending her down a “dangerous path” that led to the accident and her subsequent pain and suffering and $100,000+ in medical bills.
Of course, her lawyer says that the media is being unfair for painting his client as stupidly ignoring her own safety and common sense by blindly following directions. It’s Google’s fault, for creating a “trap” with their bad directions.
Though the lawsuit doesn’t mention that Google Maps includes a disclaimer for pedestrian directions. On the website, it says “Walking directions are in beta. Use caution – This route may be missing sidewalks or pedestrian paths.” And on my iPhone, it says “Walking directions (beta): use caution.” Even if Google does have a legal duty to warn (which is probably debatable), they’ve probably already met that burden.
But let this be a lesson to you all: Look both ways before crossing the street, even if Google tells you not to.