The family of a US man who drowned after jumping off a collapsed bridge has filed a lawsuit against Google, claiming the tech giant’s failure to update its maps led to his premature death
The incident, which occurred in September 2022 in Hickory, North Carolina, has highlighted concerns about the accuracy and reliability of GPS navigation systems. According to the lawsuit, father-of-two Philip Paxson was driving home from his daughter’s birthday party when he relied on Google Maps to guide him through an unfamiliar neighborhood. Outdated directions provided by the app led him to the “Bridge to Nowhere,” a crumbling bridge that had been closed for nearly a decade. Driving in the dark and rain, Paxson unknowingly drove off the bridge and drowned in Snow Creek.
The family’s lawsuit alleges that Google was negligent in not updating its maps to reflect the bridge closure. According to reports, local residents had contacted Google several times to correct the maps, but their pleas went unheeded. The absence of barriers at the entrance to the bridge, due to acts of vandalism, contributed even more to the tragic accident.
The lawsuit also names three local companies as defendants, arguing they had a duty to maintain the bridge. The Paxson family is seeking compensation for their loss and is determined to hold those responsible for the inaccurate GPS directions and the crumbling bridge accountable. In a statement, Paxson’s wife, Alicia, expressed her grief and frustration at the loss of her husband. He emphasized the profound impact of his absence on his two young daughters, who are struggling to understand how such a tragedy can occur.
Google has responded to the lawsuit, expressing sympathy for the Paxson family and stating its commitment to providing accurate routing information in Maps. The company is currently reviewing the allegations made in the lawsuit. This tragic incident raises important questions about the reliability of GPS navigation systems and the responsibility of technology companies to ensure the accuracy of their maps.
As we increasingly rely on technology to guide us through our daily lives, it is crucial that these systems are updated and maintained to prevent such devastating outcomes. The Paxson family’s lawsuit serves as a reminder of the potential consequences of negligence and the need for companies like Google to prioritize the safety and well-being of their users. The outcome of this case will be closely watched as it has the potential to set a precedent for future lawsuits related to GPS navigation errors.