Google accused of directing motorist to drive off collapsed bridge
The family of a US man who drowned after driving off a collapsed bridge are claiming that he died because Google failed to update its maps.
The family of Philip Paxson is suing Google over his death, alleging it negligently failed to show that the bridge had fallen nine years earlier.
As a result of his attempt to drive over the damaged bridge in Hickory, North Carolina, Mr Paxson died in September 2022.
The company is reviewing the allegations, according to a spokesperson.
On Tuesday, the case was filed in Wake County civil court.
According to the family’s lawsuit, Paxson was driving home from his daughter’s ninth birthday party at a friend’s house when he died in an unfamiliar neighbourhood.
Earlier, his wife had driven his two daughters home, and he stayed behind to clean up.
Lawyers for the family said in a statement announcing the lawsuit that he was unfamiliar with local roads and relied on Google Maps to find his way home to his wife and daughters.
Tragically, as he drove cautiously in the dark and rain, he unwittingly followed Google’s outdated directions to the ‘Bridge to Nowhere,’ crashing into Snow Creek and drowning.
Following the collapse of the bridge in 2013, local residents repeatedly contacted Google asking them to change their online maps.
Vandalism had taken place across the bridge entrance, removing the barriers that should have been there.
The lawsuit is also suing three local companies, arguing they had a duty to maintain the bridge.