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Woman Sues After Being Hit by Car While Following Google Maps Directions

Posted Jun 1, 2010 6:15 PM CDT
By Sarah Mui

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A woman who used Google Maps BlackBerry application to find a walking route in Park City, Utah, is suing Google after begin struck by a car on the four-lane sidewalk-less route that the application directed her to.

The New York Daily News said that Google Maps as seen from a computer screen gives readers the following warning: "Walking directions are in beta. Use caution—This route may be missing sidewalks or pedestrian paths," but that the mobile version of Google Maps does not come with the disclaimer. However, Google spokeswoman Elaine Filadelfo told the Associated Press that every software version for both computers and mobile devices has had that warning since 2008.

Google sent Search Engine Land a screen shot of how the directions would appear on a BlackBerry—shortened to "Walking directions (beta): use caution." Search Engine Land also posted the lawsuit.

On a pitch-black night in January, Lauren Rosenberg tried to cross Deer Valley drive to reach a "totally snowpacked" walking path on its other side, but was hit before reaching the median, her lawyer told the Associated Press. "We think there's enough fault to go around, but Google had some responsibility to direct people correctly or warn them," Rosenberg's attorney, Allen Young, said. "They created a trap with walking instructions that people rely on. She relied on it and thought she should cross the street."

Rosenberg is from Northridge, Calif., and is unemployed, the Associated Press said. She is seeking compensation for medical bills, lost wages and punitive damages. Filadelfo said the company had not received a copy of the lawsuit, which also names a driver she says hit her.

Updated June 2 to include information from Search Engine Land.

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