The tech-giant Apple is now embattled in a Personal Injury lawsuit after a 5-year-old girl was killed following a motor vehicle collision. Instead of watching the road, the at-fault driver was allegedly using the company's FaceTime video calling program. The family of the deceased girl claim that Apple should be held responsible for the death - in addition to the driver - because the phone app was not safely designed. The lawsuit claims that Apple should have included a program to shutoff FaceTime while driving or utilized proper warnings in the app discouraging the use of video calling while driving.
While product manufacturers are typically responsible for legitimately defective products, the theory of liability against Apple, here, may be tenuous at best. Imagine the multitude of similar situations in which a product manufacture could be held responsible for injury. Should Starbucks be liable if a car accident was caused while the driver was drinking its coffee? Should a radio station be liable if a driver became distracted while listening to music before running into a pedestrian? Should a toddler in the backseat be liable for throwing a tantrum and distracting their driving parent? Likely, no.
These types of Personal Injury lawsuits sometimes lead to a slippery slope. In other words, if Apple is held responsible, here, where does the potential liability for companies end? At Magnuson Lowell, we can help answer all your legal questions. Feel free to contact one of our experienced attorneys for a free phone consultation today!