Consumer Law

Smartwatch makers should fund $1B education campaign about driving dangers, lawyer's suit says

  • Print.

Image from Shutterstock.

A California lawyer has filed a nuisance suit to require the makers of smartwatches to fund a $1 billion public education campaign about the dangers of distracted driving while wearing the devices.

“The temptation to check the tiny screen immediately after receiving a notification is virtually irresistible,” says the suit filed Monday by attorney Stephen Joseph in Los Angeles Superior Court, and if the wearer succumbs to the temptation, the road “becomes invisible to the driver.”

Groundwork for the litigation was laid by a state appeals court ruling (PDF) earlier this month, reports the Los Angeles Times (sub. req.).

City officials had a right to impose restrictions on a fast-food restaurant in a high-crime area under a public nuisance theory, the court said, “to make such criminal activity … less likely through the imposition of operating conditions.” The restaurant had argued that it was unfairly being held responsible for third-party criminal activity simply because it was located in a high-crime area.

Joseph’s suit seeks a court order requiring Apple, Google, Microsoft and Samsung to pay for the $1 billion education fund so that their smartwatches don’t become a nuisance.

The companies didn’t immediately respond to the newspaper’s messages seeking comment.

Give us feedback, share a story tip or update, or report an error.