In a tragic twist, a North Carolina family has sued Google, blaming the tech giant for a catastrophic bridge accident. Philip Paxson, a loving father of two, was tragically killed in the incident in September 2022.
On his way home from celebrating his daughter’s ninth birthday, Philip Paxson came across an unfamiliar neighborhood. He was unaware that his reliance on Google Maps to return to his family would lead to an unimaginable tragedy.
Outdated Maps: A Deadly Oversight
According to the family’s lawsuit, Google’s failure to update its Maps application significantly contributed Philip Paxson’s untimely death. Moreover, the bridge in Hickory, North Carolina, had collapsed nearly a decade before, a facts that Google’s out-of-date mapping failed to reflect.
The ‘Bridge to Nowhere
Driving cautiously through rain and darkness, Paxson followed Google’s directions, unaware of the looming danger: the ‘Bridge to Nowhere.’ This bridge had become hazardous years ago, a fact Google Maps failed to update, setting the stage for tragic events.
Calls for Action Ignored
According to the lawsuit, after the bridge collapsed in 2013, residents made numerous attempts to notify Google about the need to update their online maps. These calls to action went unanswered and ignored, unfortunately.
The lawsuit accuses three local businesses and Google of being responsible for the bridge’s upkeep. Furthermore, the barriers that should have blocked access to the bridge were missing due to vandalism, exacerbating the danger.
Philip’s wife, Alicia Paxson, expressed her grief, saying, “Our girls ask how and why their daddy died, and I’m at a loss for words they can understand because, as an adult, I still can’t understand how those responsible for the GPS directions and the bridge could have acted with such little regard for human life.”
Google’s Response: Condolences and a Promise to Review
A Google spokesperson expressed their condolences: “We have the deepest sympathies for the Paxson family.” We want to provide accurate routing information in Maps, therefore we’re investigating this lawsuit.
This tragic incident is a reminder of the critical importance of up-to-date mapping technology. The consequences of outdated information can be devastating, and it raises important questions about the responsibility of technology companies to prioritize user safety.