Hat tip to Abnormal Use: The Unreasonably Dangerous Products Liability Blog for advising me about this Utah lawsuit.
Apparently, a woman followed Google Maps walking directions on her Blackberry, walking across a four-lane highway where she was struck by an approaching vehicle. She sued Google; here is a copy of the suit.
Her lawyer says that the plaintiff f was walking in an area she had never been before, at a time when it was very dark, and that Google failed to warn the Plaintiff that walking routes may be missing sidewalks or pedestrian paths. Here is an image of the scene from Google. Google says that every software version for mobile devices has had a disclaimer that advises walkers to use caution since Google Maps was launched in 2008.
I hope that the plaintiff’s lawyer here is not relying on this case to meet his monthly (or even daily) overhead. While I can whip up a scenario where there could be liability on Google maps, the facts as pleaded in this case don’t come close to establishing liability in my mind. If they do, I am opening up an office in Utah and making a down-payment on this cabin on Big Saint Germain Lake in my beloved Northern Wisconsin.