Google sued after driver dies after bridge collapses on its Maps | World news

The family of a man who tragically lost his life while following Google Maps and driving over a collapsed bridge has filed a lawsuit against the tech company, alleging negligence.

Philip Paxson with his wife (Facebook)
Philip Paxson with his wife (Facebook)

They claim that Google knew the bridge was washed away for five years but did not update its navigation system.

Phillip Paxson, a father of two and a medical device salesman, tragically drowned last September when his Jeep Gladiator plunged into Snow Creek in Hickory, North Carolina, according to a lawsuit filed Tuesday. .

Returning home from his daughter’s ninth birthday party, he was driving through unfamiliar territory when, according to the lawsuit, Google Maps allegedly directed him to cross a collapsed bridge.

“Our girls ask how and why their dad died, and I’m at a loss for words they can understand because, as an adult, I still don’t understand how GPS directions and How could the people in charge of the bridge behave like that. They have little regard for human life,” said his wife, Alicia Paxson.

Police, who discovered Paxton’s body in his overturned and partially submerged truck, said there were no signs or barriers on the destroyed road.

The lawsuit states that he removed an unsecured piece, which resulted in a collision about 20 feet below.

According to the North Carolina State Patrol, the bridge was not under the maintenance jurisdiction of local or state authorities, and the company belonging to the original developer had ceased to exist.

The lawsuit also names several private property management companies that it says are responsible for the bridge and surrounding land. It alleges that Google Maps received numerous reports of falls in the years before Paxon’s death and urged it to update its route information, but failed to do so.

The court filing includes email correspondence from a different Hickory resident who, in September 2020, used the map’s “suggest edits” function to alert the company about his route. Drivers were directed to the collapsed bridge.

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A November 2020 email confirmation from Google confirms that the company received her report and is reviewing the proposed change, but the lawsuit claims Google took no further action.

“We have our deepest sympathies for the Paxon family,” Google spokesman Jose Castañeda was quoted as saying by The Associated Press.

“Our goal is to provide accurate routing information in Maps and we are reviewing this lawsuit.”

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