With the advent of every new technology comes a variety of lawsuits. The “Walking Directions” feature of Google Maps is no different in this regard. When Lauren Rosenberg used her Google Maps on her BlackBerry to get walking directions, she claims she was misled to a busy highway and as a result hit by a car.
Lauren has sued both Google and the car driver Patrick Harwood for damages in excess of $100,000. Usually, when the “Walking Directions” feature is used at Google Maps, a warning message displays letting users know about the beta status of the feature and the potential of routes missing pedestrian paths. In other words, Google does a good job of warning users but apparently this is only limited to the web version of Google Maps and hasn’t made it yet to the iPhone/BlackBerry version.
Here is a detailed copy of the case filing. This is yet another example where the plaintiff ended up relying more on the superficial guidance than her common sense. What would she have done if the bad directions were provided by another pedestrian or a gas station attendant, would she have filed lawsuits against them too? The scenario is no different than getting to a road block while following your GPS, do you sue your GPS company in that case or just take a detour?