There should be a law against filing frivolous lawsuits. Case in point: a woman is now suing Google for leading her onto a rural Utah highway. Most consumers who use GPS-based directions already know that it's not a perfect technology. It can't tell if a portion of a road has been turned into a sidewalk. In fact, it's really not the brightest in giving the best directions, sometimes making users take longer, unnecessary routes when quicker, shorter avenues are in plain sight.
It this case, Los Angeles, California native Lauren Rosenberg said that Google Maps gave her bad directions by telling her to walk down a rural highway. Naturally there were no sidewalk or pedestrian pathways, just loads of hot pavement. Along the way Rosenberg was struck down by a car, and now Google is somehow to blame for her walking down the center of the highway. Although she is suing the actual driver--Patrick Harwood of Park city, Utah--she's also going after the search engine giant for $100,000 in medical expenses and additional punitive damages.
"As a direct and proximate cause of Defendant Google’s careless, reckless and negligent providing of unsafe directions, Plaintiff Lauren Rosenberg was led onto a dangerous highway, and was thereby stricken by a motor vehicle, causing her to suffer sever permanent physical, emotional, and mental injuries, including pain and suffering," reads the complaint filing.
Does she have a case? Probably not. Google makes it clear that the walking directions are in beta, and that they currently may not provide routes with sidewalks or pedestrian paths. Users of Google Maps are warned to use caution. The drawback to this case is that the warning doesn't appear on the mobile version of Google Maps (in this case her BlackBerry smartphone), only on the PC. But that fact shouldn't matter--common sense suggests that pedestrians keep to the side of the road, not traverse down the center.
Currently Google has not issued a statement. They're probably rendered speechless.