The Fiji Times
Google sued after
THE family of a North Carolina man who died after driving off a collapsed bridge as he followed directions given on Google Maps is suing the tech giant for negligence, saying it failed to update its navigation system after the bridge span washed away nine years prior.
Philip Paxson was driving home from his oldest daughter’s birthday party on September 30, 2022, when his Jeep plunged into Snow
Creek in Hickory, North Carolina, causing him to drown, according to a lawsuit filed on Tuesday by his family.
The 47-year-old father of two was unfamiliar with the neighbourhood he was driving through on a dark and stormy night and was directed by Google Maps across a bridge that collapsed nearly a decade earlier and was never repaired, the New York Post reports.
“Our girls ask how and why their daddy died, and I’m at a loss for words they can understand because, as an adult, 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,” his wife, Alicia Paxson, said.
There were no barriers or warning signs along the roadway, which had been washed out and never mended following a 2013 flood.
Mr Paxson’s car plunged off an unguarded edge and crashed about 6m below, according to the lawsuit. State troopers discovered his body inside his overturned and partially submerged Jeep.
Multiple people told Google Maps about the broken bridge in the years leading up to Mr Paxson’s death — urging the company to update its route information — but nothing was ever done, the lawsuit alleges.