Google sued over 'unsafe' map directions (15)Tweet this (93)Comments (7) A pedestrian is suing Google for supplying unsafe directions in its Maps tool after she was hit by a car on a Park City road. Even with the acknowledgement that most American cities are built for cars, rather than people, isn't that a lawsuit too far?
Lauren Rosenberg is seeking $100,000 in damages after the accident in January when she tried to cross a busy state highway with no pavements at night and was hit by a car. A lawsuit filed in a Utah District Court last week accused Google of being "careless, reckless, and negligent" in supplying unsafe walking directions.
Lauren Rosenberg was hit by a car on this highway after following directions on Google Maps Rosenberg's lawyer Allen Young said: "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."
Rosenberg has been the subject of some vitriol for an apparent lapse in common sense and a rather 'hopeful' lawsuit. Unfortunately that appears to have been directed at another Lauren Rosenberg - a PR executive with a strong online profile who has received various incredulous voicemail and email messages - including one from a friend who said "I thought you were smarter than that".
Danny Sullivan on SearchEngineLand points out that Google Maps' walking direction, which are still in beta, clearly show a warning: "Use caution - This route may be missing sidewalks or pedestrian paths". He also says: "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."
Young later told Sullivan that if Google "is going to tell people where to go, they need to have some responsibility to warn them that that might not be the way to go".
"She was in an area that she'd never been to before. It was pitch black. There were no street lights. She relied on Google that she'd cross there and go down to a sidewalk."