He drowned after crashing into a creek below.
Mind the Gap
The family of a tragically deceased North Carolina man is suing Google for negligence, claiming Google Maps told the father of two to drive his car off a collapsed bridge last year.
Philip Paxson drowned after plowing his Jeep Gladiator off the bridge, plunging 20 feet into a creek below in September 2022, the Associated Press reports.
It’s an awful death that could’ve been avoided with a simple navigation system update, his family claims, but whether Google will end up being found guilty remains to be seen.
According to the suit, Paxson was directed to drive over a bridge that had collapsed nine years ago and remained unrepaired since. Over that near-decade, the family alleges that Google hadn’t updated its maps despite numerous users pointing out the collapse.
Worse yet, there were no barriers or signs that could’ve warned drivers.
“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,” said Paxson’s wife Alicia in a statement.
So who’s at fault? The North Carolina State Patrol said the original developer in charge of the bridge had dissolved, per the AP. The lawsuit lists several private property management companies as responsible.
Unsurprisingly, Google didn’t have much to add and will likely fight the suit in court, if it ever comes to that.
“We have the deepest sympathies for the Paxson family,” Google spokesperson José Castañeda told the AP. “Our goal is to provide accurate routing information in Maps and we are reviewing this lawsuit.”
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