US family blames ‘FaceTime’ for car crash, sues Apple
New York, Dec 31 (IANS) A family in the US who lost their young daughter in a car crash recently filed a lawsuit against Apple for allegedly encouraging distracted driving through “FaceTime” video calling app, media reported.
The family claims that Apple had the patent for a safer version of its “FaceTime” video calling app, but chose to make the less safe version available with the iPhone 6 — ultimately leading to a car crash that resulted in the death of their five-year-old daughter Moriah Modisette, Courthouse News reported this week.
The case dates back to 2014 when Moriah was travelling in the back of her parents’ car near Dallas and was hit by another car driven by Garrett Willhelm who was using the Apple “FaceTime” while driving.
The erring driver had confessed to the police that he was on “FaceTime” and police had also found that the app was still live when they arrived at the scene.
Given the fact that the app fully engages visual components, the Modisette family blamed Apple for its failure to either programme a shutoff into the “FaceTime” or give strong warning about using the app while driving.
“Defendant Apple Inc. has had the technology to prevent these events, and the Modisettes’ injuries, specifically since at least December 12, 2008, when it filed an application with the US Patent Office for a ‘driver handheld computing device lock-out,” the family said in the complaint.
The failure of Apple to use GPS tracking to detect the speed of the vehicle in which a user was travelling and shut down the “FaceTime” app was a significant factor in the accident, the family added.
The grieving family has sought economic damages along with punitive damages.