Widow Suing Google and Bridge Owner Over Death

(NationalUSNews.com) — Reports show that a lawsuit filed last week claims that Google Maps led a father of two kids to his death in 2022 as he drove home from his daughter’s 9th birthday celebration at a friend’s home in Hickory, North Carolina.

The complaint claims that Philip Paxson, a 47-year-old Navy veteran, was driving his Jeep last September after the birthday party, and Google Maps GPS led him to a bridge that had been inoperable since a July 2013 flood.

During a Wednesday news conference, Phil’s wife, Alicia Paxson, stated that those accountable for Google Maps GPS errors and the unbarricaded, fallen bridge disregarded human life.

The collapsed Snow Creek Bridge is owned by entrepreneur James Tarlton, Hinckley Gauvain LLC, and Tarde LLC, which Alicia is also suing.

According to Paxon’s lawyers, Michael Benz, Larry Bendesky, and Robert Zimmerman, the developers sold their land but never legally transferred the roads to the North Carolina DOT (Department of Transportation).

During his news conference on Wednesday, Zimmerman mentioned the many Google Maps users who have complained about the destroyed bridge throughout the years.

The lawsuit claims the proprietors did not properly take care of the bridge, putting it in a hazardous condition of deterioration, and they refused to erect appropriate and sufficient barriers.

A report shows that locals had placed concrete barriers and cones around the fallen bridge to dissuade traffic for years, but Paxson couldn’t see them that evening. He drove off the precipice and plummeted into the creek. His body and Jeep were submerged in the water the following morning.

Google official José Castañeda told Fox News Digital that their heartfelt condolences went to the Paxson family, and they were evaluating this case to give correct route information on Maps.

According to a report, a Maps user reported the fallen bridge days before Paxson’s death, but a route correction to travel around the bridge was never made.

The lawsuit states that the app continued to lead users across the Snow Creek Bridge on April 6, 2023.

According to Paxson’s legal team, MapQuest properly shows the route as impassable. The MapQuest mobile application snapshot shows a bridge breach, like two unconnected highways. The Google Maps screenshot, however, does not.

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