The devastated family of a 47-year-old man who tragically died after driving off a collapsed bridge is now suing Google.
Philip Paxson from North Carolina was using Google Maps to return home from his daughter’s birthday party when the app guided him to a bridge that collapsed almost a decade ago.
His Jeep fell off the edge and crashed 20ft below before he drowned, the lawsuit stated.
Paxson’s grieving family filed a lawsuit against Google, blaming the company for his tragic death.
His wife Alicia Paxson said: “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.”
The body of the father-of-two was found in his overturned vehicle by state troopers, who said there were no warning signs or barriers along the collapsed bridge.
Many people had notified Google Maps about the washed-out roadway and had urged the company to make an update and change its route information, the lawsuit stated.
An email from November 2020 confirms that Google received a report and was reviewing the suggested change but the lawsuit claims the company did not take any further actions.
A spokesperson for Google said: “We have the deepest sympathies for the Paxson family. Our goal is to provide accurate routing information in Maps and we are reviewing this lawsuit.”
The North Carolina State Patrol said that the bridge’s original developer’s company had dissolved, with the lawsuit naming Hickory businessman James Tarlton and companies Hinckley Gauvain LLC and Tarde LLC as the owners of the bridge and its surrounding land.
Tarlton and the two companies have been accused of failing to repair the collapsed bridge and not providing enough lighting or signs to prevent people from falling into the creek.
Alicia said during a press conference: “It still doesn’t seem real.”
“How is it nine years that this did not happen, and why did it have to be him? Like, why do my kids have to have no dad now, you know?”
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