4Ps Marketing

“Unsafe” Walking Directions Lead to Another Google Lawsuit

If I told you that yet another Google lawsuit is making headlines, you might be forgiven for thinking that another row over privacy is about to erupt.

In this case, however, you would be wrong. LA resident Lauren Rosenberg has filed a $100,000 lawsuit after attempting to cross a state highway at night that had no pavements and was hit by a car as a result. Rosenberg claims that walking directions she downloaded from Google Maps gave her an unsafe route and accuses Google of being “careless, reckless, and negligent” in providing walking directions that were unsafe.

Rosenberg’s lawyer, Allen Young states:

“We think there’s enough fault to go around, but Google had some responsibility to direct people correctly or warn them. They created a trap with walking instructions that people rely on. She relied on it and thought she should cross the street.”

The counterpoint was put across by SearchEngineLand’s Danny Sullivan, who drew attention to the fact that Google does indeed display a warning:

“Use caution – This route may be missing sidewalks or pedestrian paths”.

Though it is alleged that this warning was absent due to the fact that Rosenberg downloaded the route using her Blackberry, it has also been argued that a lack of common sense contributed to the accident.

Sullivan added:

“I suspect a court is going to find that despite getting bad directions from Google (or a gas station attendant, a local person or any source), people are also expected to use common sense.”

Google lawsuits are by no means an uncommon thing. People are understandably concerned about Google privacy controls and the search giant’s mission statement; “to organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful” was always going to come up against legal issues. However, in the case of this particular Google lawsuit , my sympathy may just lay with the accused.

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