Woman Follows Google Maps “Walking” Directions, Gets Hit, Sues

Woman Follows Google Maps “Walking” Directions, Gets Hit, Sues

Is Google responsible for giving out bad directions through its Google Maps service?

We’re about to find out. After Googling walking directions for a trip in Park City, Utah, Lauren Rosenberg claims she was led onto a busy highway, where she was struck by a vehicle. She’s now suing Google for damages.

The case, Rosenberg v. Harwood, was filed in Utah, in the US District Court’s Central Division (Gary Price of ResourceShelf tipped us to it today). Harwood is Patrick Harwood, the person who actually hit Rosenberg, according to the suit. Both Harwood and Google are being sued in the same case, for damages “in excess of $100,000.”

Rosenberg used Google Maps on January 19, 2009, via her Blackberry. Google provided the address, with a route for about 1/2 mile along the calm-sounding “Deer Valley Drive.”

That’s an alternative name for that section of Utah State Route 224, a highway that lacks sidewalks, the case says. Rosenberg wasn’t warned about this, putting Google directly at fault in the accident, the case claims:
Defendant Google, through its “Google Maps” service provided Plaintiff Lauren Rosenberg with walking directions that led her out onto Deer valley Drive. A rural highway with no sidewalks, and a roadway that exhibits motor vehicles traveling at high speeds. That is not reasonably safe for pedestrians.

The Defendant Google expects uses of the walking map site to rely on the accuracy of the walking directions given….

As a direct and proximate cause of Defendant Google’s careless, reckless, and negligent providing of unsafe directions, Plaintiff Laren Rosenberg was led onto a dangerous highway, and was thereby stricken by a motor vehicle…

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