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Google Faces Lawsuit Over Failure to Update Navigation System

Thursday, September 21, 2023 • Tamil Comments
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The family of a North Carolina man who died after following Google Maps down an Indiana road and off a collapsed bridge is suing the Internet giant for negligence. The lawsuit filed in Wake County Superior Court contends that on September 30, 2022, Philip Paxson was driving his Jeep Gladiator when he crossed a bridge over Snow Creek in Hickory. The vehicle fell into the creek, drowning him. According to the suit, there had been a bridge at that spot, but it had collapsed nine years earlier and had not been repaired since then.

At the time, his wife, Alicia Paxson, angrily said, "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 to human life."

State troopers found Paxson's overturned and partially submerged truck near the washed-out roadway without barriers or warning signs. He drove off an unguarded edge and crashed about 20 feet below.

The lawsuit also alleges that several others had warned Google about the bridge's collapsed condition years before Paxson's accident and requested that it update its route information. Court filings contain email records of a Hickory resident who alerted Google via the "suggest an edit" feature in September 2020, according to the suit. While she was told her report was received by Google, no further action occurred as per a November 2020 email.

"We are sorry for Mr. Paxson’s tragic accident, and our thoughts are with his family," said Google spokesperson José Castañeda in a statement.

The lawsuit is brought forth to hold Google responsible for not updating its navigation system in light of the bridge failure, which later culminated in a tragic loss of life.

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