Is Google Negligent for Pedestrian Knockdown Due to a Bad Map?

by Fred Abramson on June 2, 2010 · 0 comments

If you have used an online map service to obtain directions, such as Mapquest and Google Maps I am sure that there have been times where the directors where not exactly accurate.  But can they be held responsible for providing bad directions? We are soon to find out. Blogger Danny Sullivan reports that Google has been sued for providing bad directions through its Google Maps service.

The case, Rosenberg v. Harwood and Google was filed in Utah, in the US District Court’s Central Division.  Lauren Rosenberg, the plaintiff was walking along a highway that did not have a sidewalk and was hit by a vehicle operated by the defendant Patrick Hardwood.  She was led to the highway after Googling walking directions for a trip in Park City, Utah.

The complaint alleges that Google is negligent and failed its duty to warn.  These arguments will likely fail. If this case was brought in New York State, where I am licensed to practice, the issue as to who is negligent would turn on who is the proximate cause of the accident.  Google only provided the directions.  The accident was caused by either the driver operating his motor vehicle negligently or Ms. Rosenberg for negligently walking in an area where she shouldn’t have been walking on. Since either the driver or pedestrian was the proximate cause of the accident, they will be responsible. As a result, the case against Google will likely be dismissed.

Here is the complaint:
Rosenberg v. Harwood (& Google)

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