Google Is Being Sued By the Family of a Man Who Died When Maps GPS Led Him Off a Broken Bridge Philip John Paxson, 47, was found dead on September 30, 2022.
A North Carolina family is suing Google after a man tragically died by driving over a broken bridge and plummeting into the river below while following Google Maps, which did not indicate that the bridge was no longer standing.
Philip John Paxson of Hickory, North Carolina was found dead on September 30, 2022, with his jeep overturned in a creek on the way home from his daughter's birthday party.
Paxson, 47, was driving in dark and rainy conditions at the time.
"He was following his GPS which led him down a concrete road to a bridge that dropped off into a river. The bridge had been destroyed 9 years ago and never repaired," Paxson's mother-in-law wrote on Facebook last year following the accident. "It lacked any barriers or warning signs to prevent the death of a 47-year-old father of two daughters."
The lawsuit, which was filed on Tuesday, claims that people had been notifying Google for years that the bridge was out. In one instance, someone contacted the tech giant to say the bridge had collapsed two years before Paxson's accident, the suit notes. Google confirmed they received the request for review months later, but no changes were made to the map.
Google is being sued on account of negligence though it has not been confirmed how much the Paxson family is seeking in damages.
"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 so little regard for human life," Paxson's wife, Alicia, said in a statement.
The Paxson family has also named the owners of the bridge and its surrounding land, James Tarlton and the companies Tarde LLC and Hinckley Gauvain LLC as defendants for "failure to repair the bridge or to maintain appropriate barriers or lighting to prevent people from crashing into Snow Creek."
The lawsuit also claims that authorities and state troopers confirmed that there were no barriers or signage indicating that the bridge was run down at the time of Paxson's accident.