Nearly a year ago, Philip Paxson passed away after trying to drive across a long-collapsed bridge in North Carolina. Now, his family is suing Google and alleging its navigation app led him to his demise.
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The Lawsuit Blames Google Maps For Directing Philip Paxson To His Untimely Death
According to CBS News, Paxson drowned last September while taking an “unfamiliar” route home from his daughter’s birthday party.
While following directions on Google Maps, Paxson was allegedly instructed to drive across Snow Creek Bridge. However, as the bridge collapsed in 2013 and “had no artificial lighting,” the lawsuit — filed on Tuesday (Sept. 19) — says Paxson ultimately “drove off the unguarded edge of the bridge and crashed approximately twenty feet below.”
“The bridge had no artificial lighting, and the area was pitch black at 11:00 p.m. While following the dangerous directions the Google Map Defendants provided, Mr. Paxson’s vehicle drove off the unguarded edge of the bridge and crashed approximately twenty feet below.”
Paxson’s dead body was eventually found inside his overturned Jeep Gladiator.
The Company Is Accused Of Disregarding Past Concerns Made By Residents: “Make Sure Our Voices Are Heard”
In addition to Google, CNN reports that the lawsuit is putting its parent company, Alphabet, on the hook. Additionally, the suit pinpoints two local companies supposedly responsible for maintaining the upkeep and safety of the bridge, as there were allegedly no barricades or warning signs.
It’s worth adding that the road is private and not maintained by the county.
Within a statement, attorney Larry Bendesky declared that Paxson’s “trust in Google Maps” ultimately “cost him his life.”
“Mr. Paxson was completely unaware that the Snow Creek Bridge collapsed in 2013, just like others who narrowly escaped the same fate. Like so many motorists, Philip put his trust in Google Maps to safely guide him home from the children’s birthday party. His trust in Google Maps, and the failure of the road and bridge-keepers to do their jobs, cost him his life.”
After the filing, Philip Paxson’s widow, Alicia Paxson, accused Google of brushing off “concerned community voices.”
“I still can’t understand how those responsible for the GPS directions, and the bridge, could have acted with so little regard for human life. Google ignored the concerned community voices telling them to change its map and directions.”
She added, “No one should ever lose a loved one this way, and we want to make sure our voices are heard.”
The lawsuit reportedly includes receipts of one community member contacting Google twice about the collapsed bridge.
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