Google sued

A woman is suing Google, the search engine, claiming its maps function gave her walking directions that led her on to a major highway*, where she was hit by a car.

The lawsuit seeks more than $100,000 (£70,000) in damages.

Lauren Rosenberg used Google Maps on January 19, 2009, via her Blackberry, to get directions between 96 Daly Street, Park City, Utah, and 1710 Prospector Avenue, Park City, Utah.

Google provided these, telling her as part of the route to walk for about half a mile along the calm-sounding Deer Valley Drive.

But Deer Valley Drive is a section of Utah State Route 224, a busy rural highway without pavements*. One stretch is blocked by a noise barrier that pushes pedestrians closer to the roadside.

And Rosenberg wasn’t warned about this, putting Google directly at fault in the accident, the case claims.

After walking on to the highway, Rosenberg was struck by a car. The driver, Patrick Harwood, is also named in the suit.

The case, Rosenberg v Harwood, was filed in Utah, in the U.S. District Court’s Central. Both Harwood and Google are being sued in the same case, for damages ‘in excess of $100,000’.

Google has pointed out that the directions Rosenberg sought come with a warning of caution for pedestrians.

But Rosenberg claims that she accessed the Maps function on her Blackberry mobile device, which only has a small screen, so does not include the warning.

Others have pointed out that Rosenberg might have been best served by her own eyes after she reached a T-junction and found herself confronted with an obviously unsafe walk.

Microsoft's Bing has a similar warning when mapping the same path: ‘Caution, this route may be missing sidewalks* or other pedestrian paths.’

The problem is that you only get 320x480 pixels on a Blackberry screen and if Google needed to put warnings on its Maps pages, there'd hardly be any room for a map.

Instead, Google has to rely on people using common sense and lessons they learned at school – at least until their maps become 'fool proof'.

Source: Daily Mail

*sidewalk (US) = pavement (UK), *highway (US) = motorway (UK)


Joaquin said…
I think that in the Angloamerican countries there are more people that thinks that their problems has been cosed by a third person, or company, and try to avoid their responsibility using the court like a dady. I think is important for that countries to improve their judge system or their people to avoid that kind of stuff.
Graham said…
Anything related to technology or gadgets catches Joaquin's eye! lol.

I agree with you. Taking someone to court for any reason is commonplace in the US. The situation has got out of control in the UK too. People are always looking to blame others for their problems. They see a minor incident as an opportunity to make money.

The new government has promised to do something about the ridiculous Health and Safety laws that we have. It would be a step in the right direction.

I think that in the Angloamerican countries there are more PEOPLE THAT THINK that their problemS HAVE been CAUSED by a third person, or company, and try to avoid their responsibility using the court AS a DADDY.

I THINK IT is important for THOSE countries to improve their JUDICIAL SYSTEMS, or their people to avoid that kind of *stuff.

*Be careful when using "stuff" - it's an informal word and can look bad in the wrong context.