Lawsuit blames Apple's 'less safe' FaceTime implementation for fatal traffic accident

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  • Reply 21 of 125
    paxmanpaxman Posts: 4,712member
    MalyOpa said:
    Maybe someone should sue state of Texas of not implementing a law which prohibit people from using phones while driving
    Or sue the car manufacturers for manufacturing cars that travel at unsafe speeds? The amount of deaths caused by reckless driving is directly linked to the the speed the vehicles can travel at. Hit a child at 35 mph there is an 80% chance of death, at 30mph there is an 80% chance of survival.

    In short - its complicated. 

    But one day in the not too distant future people will tell tales of the old days when people actually drove cars themselves with the resultant tens of thousands of deaths annually, not to mention the serious injuries. And how in the name of personal freedom they thought that was OK. 
    apple jockey
  • Reply 22 of 125
    Mike WuertheleMike Wuerthele Posts: 6,553administrator
    jkichline said:
    Apple doesn't hold the patent for an in-dash cutoff of FaceTime.

    They do hold it for a handheld implementation, which is what the crux of the suit is about. Apple has the patent, they haven't used it in a fashion that would have prevented the crash.
    That's because it doesn't work in practice.  You simply can't differentiate between a passenger in the car and the driver using only GPS information.  You can only know that the passenger is "moving" and that they are on a "road".  So you would prevent everyone in the vehicle from using a phone which may be for a critical reason (you also don't know the use of the phone call at the time).

    In the end, accidents are left up to the responsibility of the driver. Period.  Why not sue the radio manufacturer for making a device that can play music that can distract the driver? Why not sue billboard manufacturers or makers of fine, short skirts?  Look, I say this having an uncle who was killed when a driver in a pickup truck with a lift kit crossed over the median as he adjusted his radio.  The vehicle went right over my uncles car and killed him instantly. (should we also sue makers of lift kits and large, heavy vehicles?) The point is that no matter what, there will always be something that distracts a driver.  It's up to the driver to discern and control the vehicle. Stop passing blame.
    I didn't say I was in favor of the suit, nor did I imply it.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 23 of 125
    wood1208wood1208 Posts: 2,794member
    This clearly falls into personal responsibility, isn't laws prohibit using text or video on phone while driving ? How about someone driving and taking photo or movie clip of scenery he/she passing through and accident happens. Court not only should throw out such cases and counter sue the party suing..
    edited December 2016 Anilu_777watto_cobra
  • Reply 24 of 125
    mike1mike1 Posts: 3,074member
    A-holes looking for the deepest pockets because it's always somebody else's fault.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 25 of 125
    donlaurdonlaur Posts: 1unconfirmed, member
    It would haven't prevented the crash, the guy would have just been using another app at the time. That is some big fuzzy logic there, assuming that the guy wouldn't have just used something else.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 26 of 125
    jsmythe00 said:
    MalyOpa said:
    Maybe someone should sue state of Texas of not implementing a law which prohibit people from using phones while driving
    Or maybe personal responsibility can be a thing still, and we don't need The Almighty Government to tell everyone what to do. 
    I like this idea. And do away with helmet laws too
    Wearing a proper crash helmet saved my life more than once. It is risky enough already riding a bike. Stupid car drivers are everywhere. They don't care as they are nice and safely locked up inside their tin cans. I now wear body armour (kevlar) on my shoulders, elbows and knees when riding.
    I'm still here aged 60+ and have been riding bikes since Man landed on the moon. If I hadn't been wearing a helmet back on '72 I'd be long dead.
    No reason to repeal helmet laws in my opinion.
  • Reply 27 of 125
    jsmythe00 said:
    MalyOpa said:
    Maybe someone should sue state of Texas of not implementing a law which prohibit people from using phones while driving
    Or maybe personal responsibility can be a thing still, and we don't need The Almighty Government to tell everyone what to do. 
    I like this idea. And do away with helmet laws too
    Wearing a proper crash helmet saved my life more than once. It is risky enough already riding a bike. Stupid car drivers are everywhere. They don't care as they are nice and safely locked up inside their tin cans. I now wear body armour (kevlar) on my shoulders, elbows and knees when riding.
    I'm still here aged 60+ and have been riding bikes since Man landed on the moon. If I hadn't been wearing a helmet back on '72 I'd be long dead.
    No reason to repeal helmet laws in my opinion.
    You should wear a helmet because it can save your life. (Saved mine too.).  That doesn't mean there should be a law. 
    Solidesignrshamino
  • Reply 28 of 125
    How is it that they can sue Apple for Facetime and not be able to sue all those other companies who make apps that allow texting in moving vehicles? More people are injured or killed from using texting or chatting apps than they are from using Facetime. Maybe all (smart)phones should be disabled in any moving vehicle going over a certain speed. Any GPS-enabled device could tell how fast the car is going. Why would Apple be liable? Aren't there laws against people using (smart)phones while driving? They constantly tell people not to do anything that distracts them from looking directly at the road ahead. Suing Apple would be like suing Starbucks because the driver tilts his head back as he takes a drink from the cup and hits someone. There are plenty of drive-in food places but that doesn't mean a driver has to eat a meal while he's driving. If someone takes their eyes off the road while reaching for a burger or some fries and hits someone, how can they sue the fast-food restaurant chain for something like that? It just seems as though the driver should take the blame for being distracted if he collides with something or someone.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 29 of 125
    rob53rob53 Posts: 3,057member
    Apple doesn't hold the patent for an in-dash cutoff of FaceTime.

    They do hold it for a handheld implementation, which is what the crux of the suit is about. Apple has the patent, they haven't used it in a fashion that would have prevented the crash.
    "Might" have prevented the crash. 

    There are many ways drivers can be distracted but I've never heard of a lawsuit against coffee, soft drinks, shaving, makeup, or any other businesses that sell items that, when used in a moving vehicle, distract drivers. Of course, nobody is ever responsible for anything they do, it's always someone else's fault.

    Another thing, FaceTime didn't cause the accident, the driver did. 
    edited December 2016 watto_cobratallest skil
  • Reply 30 of 125
    paxman said:

    But one day in the not too distant future people will tell tales of the old days when people actually drove cars themselves with the resultant tens of thousands of deaths annually, not to mention the serious injuries. And how in the name of personal freedom they thought that was OK. 
    Perhaps, and that's a funny thing to think about, but the quantity of lives presumably saved by automated cars will eventually be taken by something else. For instance, if automated cars become the norm and some unpredictable natural event or act of terrorism (an unexpectedly large non-nuclear EMP bomb, for instance) disables the automated cars beyond safeguards and millions of people are injured or killed in mass automobile accidents. Then we'll do away with that blind dependence on technology and people will wonder why we ever thought it was OK ;)

    In any case, this suit is a joke.
    dysamoriawatto_cobra
  • Reply 31 of 125
    larryalarrya Posts: 591member
    This lawsuit isn't going anywhere.  I was going to phrase it differently, but thought that would be in poor taste.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 32 of 125
    jr_b said:
    This is the very definition of a frivolous lawsuit.
    The judge should throw this out on the first day and sanction the lawyer that agreed to bring this case to the court.  Until lawyers are held to the standards and ethics their state's bar association claim to have, lawyers will bring lawsuits for anything.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 33 of 125
    This lawsuit is lame. In the EU there are laws against using devices while operating a vehicle, so if you are FaceTiming behind the wheel, then first of all you are breaking the law, and second, if you crash, its your own fault. There should be a federal law against using devices while operating a vehicle in the US, then lawsuits like these would never even get to court.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 34 of 125
    Sue the manufacturer of the car that hit them, for not installing a self braking feature - they have that technology now. Sue the Texas MVD for not providing adequate roadways for drivers, thus causing congestion and the accident. Sue the person the driver was face timing for distracting them! Sue the wireless carrier for allowing the FaceTime call to be sent through its network. Basically, just go after anyone and everyone involved, no matter how far removed from the situation they are.  Sadly - my guess is they'll settle out of court for an undisclosed sum. Sorry you lost a child, but its no ones fault but the 20 year old driver of the other car for being stupid enough to FaceTime while driving.
    Anilu_777watto_cobra
  • Reply 35 of 125
    wigbywigby Posts: 692member
    A family whose daughter's life was tragically cut short by a driver using FaceTime is suing Apple, claiming that the company has made a "less safe" than possible version of the telecommunications utility available, and as such is responsible for the crash.




    First spotted by Courthouse News, James and Bethany Modisette claim that Apple is liable for a fatal car crash because of its "failure to install and implement" a patented ability to "'lock out' the ability of drivers to utilize the FaceTime application on the Apple iPhone when driving a motor vehicle."

    The suit stems from a death related to the Dec. 24, 2014 accident in Texas, when James Modisette slowed the vehicle the family was traveling in because of road congestion. A 20-year-old driver then slammed into the rear of the car at 65 miles per hour, injuring the passengers in the Modisette's car, and ultimately leading to the death of the five-year-old Moriah Modisette after arrival at a local hospital.

    The driver at the wheel of the vehicle that slammed into Modisette's car told police that he was using FaceTime on his iPhone 6 Plus at the time of the crash. Additionally, police found that the app was still running and a call was in progress when they arrived at the scene.

    "Despite both the technology since 2008 and a patent on that technology so it could exploit its patent without competition for 20 years, " declares the court filing, "defendant Apple has consistently and continuously failed to implement a safer, alternative design that would lock-out and prevent use of FaceTime while driving."

    The filing goes on to claim that the conduct of the driver that caused the accident is "inextricably intertwined" with Apple's failure to implement the patented lockout feature. As a result of not implementing a patented feature, Apple has allegedly "breached a duty of care to plaintiffs."

    Regarding a FaceTime lockout, the suit claims that "the cost of altering the design would be minimal" for Apple and "there are no conceivable disadvantages to implementing the technology." It is unclear how that assumption has been reached by the attorneys filing the document.

    Apple is being accused of making the iPhone 6 Plus defective by design by not including technologies that may have never been developed despite the patent ownership. In failing to implement the technology, the suit claims that Apple acted with intent to cause injury, with a "willful and knowing disregard of the rights and safety of another" in order to profit.

    Texas has no law restricting cellphone use for drivers over 18 years old on the state's highways.

    The suit is not demanding that Apple ultimately implement the technology. It is seeking damages, medical expenses, and other remuneration as the court sees fit as a result of not including the technology that it holds a patent for, but has not as of yet implemented in any of its products.

    Perhaps Internet bullying can be used for good in this case. I advise all Internet assholes to attack these greedy ambulance chasers trying to make a buck off of their dead child's tragic ignorance. No one deserves a dead child but no one can make demands of companies simply because they have our sympathy either.
    Anilu_777watto_cobratallest skil
  • Reply 36 of 125
    MalyOpa said:
    Maybe someone should sue state of Texas of not implementing a law which prohibit people from using phones while driving
    Or maybe personal responsibility can be a thing still, and we don't need The Almighty Government to tell everyone what to do. 
    You're hilarious. People don't give a crap about the laws as they stand, but with a law the family who gets totaled by those a-holes have a course of action beyond, ``We're sorry, this prick didn't use common sense, but we can't do anything to compensate your family for their lack of self-reliance: a fantasy of the Right.''
    StrangeDaystzm41tallest skil
  • Reply 37 of 125
    In Ontario where I live there are heavy fines for texting and driving, as with drinking and driving. The fault is squarely with the driver who was Facetiming, NOT with Apple. Apple does not control how people use their devices. This looks like a sad situation and a money grab as well. The family should make sure the driver is charged with involuntary or vehicular manslaughter instead of suing a tech company. Texas had better get its act in gear and implement laws that punish such drivers. 
    apple jockey
  • Reply 38 of 125
    1) very sorry for the loss of this families daughter. That is heartbreaking and there are no words. I wish them hope, peace and comfort. They are in my prayers today. 

    2) she was truly a victim here. The driver of the other car was the perpetrator. 

    3) the wrongdoer is not Apple nor was it say the manufacturer of the perpetrators car - for not having accident avoidance autopilot capabilities. 

    4) Apple made its product within the confines of the law. Therefore, any user action while using the product, or any other product, has no bearing on them. They did nothing wrong. 

    5) this amounts,technically, and at risk to sounding insensitive to a grieving family, to nothing more than distracted driving. 

    The driver is is at fault for distracting themselves. It could be ANY PRODUCT. Even a 1990's GameBoy. 

    in the end, a shocker and deeply grieving family can be forgiven for making this error. But it most definitely is an error and is a lawsuit that should and likely will be thrown out as frivolous very shortly. 
    watto_cobratallest skil
  • Reply 39 of 125
    jkichline said:

    dewme said:
    Speaking of patents, this lawsuit is patently ridiculous. It's no different than suing a gun manufacturer for not implementing a fingerprint recognition guard on a firearm involved in an accidental shooting (the technology is available), suing an automobile manufacturer for not implementing breathalyzer interlock on a vehicle involved in a drunk driving fatality (the technology is available), or suing the US Park Service for not putting a 20 foot climb proof fence with razor wire around the entire perimeter of the Grand Canyon (no technology required). It's impossible to guard against all possible forms of stupidity. As we've witnessed on numerous occasions just in the past year, there is no upper limit on stupidity. Just when you thought you've witnessed the stupidest thing humanly possible, whammo, you are proven wrong! If anything needs a military grade stupidity filter, it's Twitter, not FaceTime.
    Personally I think Apple should buy Twitter, shut them down, and give the money back to the shareholders.  Boy that would be awesome and we all know why.
    How does that censorship thing work when someone is saying something you support?  We don't do it then right?   Like all this talk about fake news.  Who gets to decide?  Is MSNBC shut down because of all the fake news put out by their anchor Brian Williams?  How about CNN and Donna Brazille giving the questions out to HC, was that debate they hosted fake news then because she had the questions in advance?  You see it's easy to be upset when your candidate wins, but to call for censorship is not the answer because you won't like it when it happens to you or something you support, but it will be too late then.
  • Reply 40 of 125
    Why is there no limitation on who can be sued? The victims should be limited to blaming the distracted driver (and maybe things out of the distracted drivers control like poor road construction if applicable). Then, it would be up to the distracted driver to accept responsibility (the buck stops with him) or up to HIM to try and pass the buck by suing whatever/whoever he deems to be at fault; Apple for Face Time, the car manufacturer because his vehicle didn't automatically brake, the sun for getting in his eyes. Ect.. 

    If I'm not being clear, I see responsibility as a chain like this.

    Four cars (A,B,C & D) are are in a chain of nose to tail accidents. A - at the front of the line - can only sue B for money, not C or D.

    B has to pay, but if he can prove C hit him first (pushing him into A), B goes after C for money. B can't go after D. It's up to C to get money from D. Let's hope they are all insured. 
    radarthekat
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