Google is being sued for negligence by the family of a North Carolina man who died after driving his car off a collapsed bridge while following directions given by Google Maps.
Philip Paxton, a medical device salesman and father of two drowned in September last year after his jeep plunged off the bridge that had broken off nine years ago.
In a lawsuit filed on Tuesday, his family claimed that multiple people had notified Google Maps about the collapse in the years leading up to Paxson’s death and had urged the company to update its route information.
Paxton and his wife, Alicia, threw a camping-themed party for their daughter at a friend’s home in Hickory, a neighbourhood in North Carolina. However, Paxton had never visited the house before that day and was also “generally unfamiliar” with the area, according to the lawsuit.
While his wife went early to set up, Paxton stayed up late to clean up and drove back home alone. When he allegedly followed Google Maps to make the approximately 10-minute drive back home, Paxton did not know that there was a collapsed bridge, the suit reads.
Around 11pm, in the pitch-black area of the bridge where no artificial lighting was present, Paxton’s vehicle “drove off an unguarded edge of the bridge and crashed approximately twenty feet below”, the suit says.
First responders found the 47-year-old’s jeep upside down and partially submerged in the creek, WBTV reported.