Tech giant Google is facing a lawsuit from the family of Phillip Paxson over a flaw in its Google Maps directions that led to the tragic death of a North Carolina man who drove off a collapsed bridge. are doing.
ABC News report Phillip Paxson, a medical equipment salesman and father of two, died on September 30, 2022, after his car plunged into Snow Creek in Hickory, North Carolina. The incident occurred as Paxson was driving home from his daughter’s 9th birthday party, relying on Google Maps for directions through an unfamiliar neighborhood. The app allegedly directed him to cross a bridge that collapsed nine years ago and has since been left unrepaired.
The lawsuit, filed in Wake County Superior Court, alleges that Google was notified multiple times about the bridge collapse but failed to update its navigation system accordingly. Families of the dead claim the tech giant acted negligently by failing to address the reported issues and with little regard for human life. “Our daughters ask how and why daddy died, and I’m at a loss for words they can understand. Because how did the GPS directions and the people in charge of the bridge die? , because as an adult I still don’t understand it.” There is so little consideration for human life,” lamented Alicia Paxson, Philip’s wife.
The North Carolina State Patrol said there were no fences or warning signs along the washed-out road, and Paxson went off the unprotected edge and crashed about 6 feet below. The bridge is not maintained by local or state authorities, and the original developer has dissolved. The lawsuit also names several private property management companies and claims they are responsible for maintaining the bridge and adjacent land.
In the years leading up to Paxson’s death, multiple people reported the bridge collapse to Google and urged the company to update its route information. Court filings say another Hickory resident alerted the company in September 2020 that it was using the map’s “Suggest Edits” feature to guide drivers across a collapsed bridge. Contains email records from individuals. Google acknowledged receiving the report and was considering the proposed changes in November 2020, but the company took no further action, the lawsuit alleges.
In response to this tragic incident and subsequent lawsuit, Google spokesperson Jose Castañeda said: Our goal is to provide accurate directions on our maps, and we are reviewing this lawsuit. ”
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Lucas Nolan is a reporter for Breitbart News covering free speech and online censorship issues.