BNR – The family of an American man who died after driving onto a collapsed bridge is suing Google.
The family asserted that the tech giant’s failure to update its maps was a significant factor in the incident.
The lawsuit was filed in Wake County’s civil court. It contends that Google was negligent in not indicating that the bridge had collapsed nearly a decade ago.
Victim Drowned After Following Outdated Directions
Philip Paxson, the victim, met his demise in September 2022 when he attempted to traverse the bridge in North Carolina.
At the time of his fatal journey, Paxson, a devoted father of two, found himself navigating through an unfamiliar neighbourhood.
According to the family’s legal representatives, his wife had previously driven their two daughters home, while he stayed behind to assist with post-party clean-up.
As the lawsuit states, “Unfamiliar with local roads, he relied on Google Maps, expecting it would safely direct him home to his wife and daughters.”
“Tragically, in the darkness and rain, he unwittingly followed Google’s outdated directions to… the ‘Bridge to Nowhere,” the lawsuit added.
This ill-fated course led to his vehicle crashing into Snow Creek, where he ultimately drowned.
Residents Had Requested Map Updates
The lawsuit further alleges that residents repeatedly contacted Google, requesting updates to their maps after the bridge collapsed in 2013.
The suit maintains that barriers, which were placed at the entrance to the bridge, had been removed due to vandalism.
In addition to Google, the legal action targets three local companies, contending that they shared responsibility for maintaining the bridge.
Google Expresses Condolences
Alicia Paxson, the victim’s grieving widow, expressed her profound sorrow, stating, “Our girls ask how and why their daddy died.”
“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,” she added.
A Google spokesperson expressed condolences to the Paxson family, stating that the company aims to provide accurate information in Maps.