Remember that lawsuit filed against Google by Utah resident Lauren Rosenberg? The woman used her BlackBerry phone to check Google Maps for directions. The geographic data was correct except for one missing piece of information: there were no sidewalks in Park City’s Route 224.
Rosenberg had the misfortune of walking at night, causing motorist Patric Harwood to hit her with his vehicle. In the aftermath, Rosenberg survived the accident but was charged over $100,000 in medical bills.
Rosenberg sued Google for the accident, complaining that the search engine giant should have had information about Route 224’s lack of sidewalks. However, a Utah District Court found no wrongdoing on the part of Google and dismissed the suits filed by the plaintiff.
The court cited legal and policy reasons on its decisions, stating that Google had no direct legal relationship with Rosenberg. The court also cited a desclaimer from Google Maps that admits the system’s unreliable information for walking purposes. Ultimately, the court believes that allowing the lawsuit to proceed will open Google to unlimited liabilities from motorists and pedestrians who claim to have accidents caused by faulty information on Google Maps.
Looks like we can’t rely 100% on Google Maps just yet. Just exercise best judgment and drive safely, folks.
Thanks, Goldman’s Technology and Law Blog.