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Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Google Maps Hit a Lady with Its Car

Lauren Rosenberg was hit by a car while using directions she found through Google Maps' "walking" Directions and is now suing the Internet corporation for damages "in excess of $100,000." The figure includes medical expenses, lost wages, and punitive damages because Rosenberg insists Google Maps was "careless, reckless, and negligent [in] providing... unsafe directions."

While Google Maps clearly indicates that their Walking Directions are in Beta, and that users should "U
se caution -- This route may be missing sidewalks or pedestrian paths," this disclaimer does not appear on all mobile devices. Rosenberg accessed the directions from her Blackberry. The route down which she was directed had neither sidewalks nor pedestrian walkways and was, in fact, a state highway.

I am no fan of Google, and they get away with treating their customers like shit daily, so I am certainly not in their corner and would, for purely selfish reasons, love to see them held liable for something like this - only because... why not? But the truth is that Lauren Rosenberg should have exercised some common damn sense here.

Even if all she did was cross-reference the information she received from Google Maps with any of a number of other map sites and services, she probably could have avoided all of this. After all, if her GPS told her to drive straight off a cliff, would she do it? If Rosenberg used Google Maps for auto directions, but was late to an important meeting which cost her several thousand dollars in lost wages, would she sue Google Maps for that, as well? Even allowing this case to come to trial sets a dangerous, and stupid, precedent.

Lauren Rosenberg is also suing the driver of the car which hit her.

© C Harris Lynn, 2010


Conan Hughes said...

One important fact Laura forgot: roads are for vehicles, not for walking pedestrians. :)

By the way, the way I understood the post title it's like the car was owned by Google, specifically the car they use to capture photos for Google Maps.

Manodogs said...

Ha! You know, I was going for, like, smart-ass absurdism, but I didn't even think about that! Heh.