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Google being sued by family after inaccurate information potentially led to death

Stock image of Google Maps

Google has been sued by a family who accuse the company of causing the death of the patriarch by providing grossly outdated information despite requests by locals to update the information. Philip Paxson, who is survived by his wife and two children, drove off a collapsed bridge and drowned while following Google Maps.

For those wondering why he didn’t see that the bridge was collapsed, this is explained by the fact that it was dark and raining at the time making visibility poor. It was reported that he was in an unfamiliar neighbourhood, which further explains why he wasn’t aware of the state of the bridge.

In a statement, lawyers for the family said:

‘Unfamiliar with local roads, he relied on Google Maps, expecting it would safely direct him home to his wife and daughters. Tragically, as he drove cautiously in the darkness and rain, he unsuspectingly followed Google's outdated directions to what his family later learned for nearly a decade was called the 'Bridge to Nowhere,' crashing into Snow Creek, where he drowned.’

The bridge collapsed nine years before the death - FAMILY HANDOUT

The bridge collapsed in 2013 and since then local residents have contacted Google on a number of occassions to change the maps to reflect this fact. Google failed to act, though, and this had reportedly led to Paxson driving off the bridge and drowning in Snow Creek.

The incident happened in September 2022 in Hickory, North Carolina. He was driving home from his daughter’s ninth birthday party which was being held at a friends house. His wife and children had already left to go home but he stayed behind to help tidy up the house.

It’s important to point out that the case was only filed on Tuesday in a civil court in Wake County, so Google has not been found to be at fault at the time of writing. While it appears Google Maps played a part in the incident, it’s also worth noting that vandals had removed warning signs from the bridge, which would have helped to save his life.

Google has said that the family has its deepest sympathies and that its goal is to provide accurate information in Maps. It said that it’s now reviewing this lawsuit.

Source: BBC News

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