Google Maps directions lead injured walker to court
A woman hit by a car while walking on a route provided by Google’s online mapping service is suing the Internet colossus for not recommending a safer path.
Lauren Rosenberg of Los Angeles is asking a US District Court to order the California-based firm to pay her “in excess of” 100,000 dollars for injuries and emotional suffering caused by the accident on January 19, 2009.
Rosenberg used Google Maps on a Blackberry smartphone to chart an approximately two-mile (1.2 kilometer) course from one address to another in Park City, an upscale ski town in the state of Utah.
The path proposed by Google included a stretch of Deer Valley Drive, a local highway, which lacked sidewalks and had cars zipping at unsafe speeds, court documents contend.
“Google failed to warn (Rosenberg) of said known dangers and instead instructed her to use that dangerous path,” attorney Allen Young said in a copy of the lawsuit posted online by editor Danny Sullivan.
An AFP check on Tuesday using a personal computer resulted in Google Maps providing a choice of two routes, one that essentially avoided walking along the highway, and a warning that sidewalks might be missing.
News of the suit has prompted a pithy online discussion regarding the degree to which pedestrians are responsible for watching out for their own safety when it comes to walking along streets.