Apple Named in Wrongful Death Lawsuit



Austin Personal Injury Lawyers

Austin Personal Injury Lawyers - Perlmutter & Schuelke, PLLC

Austin, TX (Law Firm Newswire) March 28, 2017 – FaceTime was cited in a lawsuit as a factor in the death of a 5-year-old girl in a car accident on I-35 in Texas.

A California couple has filed a wrongful lawsuit against Apple alleging that the company’s failure to lockout its application FaceTime, from users operating vehicles, led to the death of their daughter.

The crash that resulted in the death of the 5-year-old girl happened on Christmas Eve, 2014. Her family’s vehicle was rear-ended by a 22-year-old man who was using FaceTime while driving. The crash injured the plaintiff, his wife and one daughter. Their second child, in the backseat of the car at the time of the collision, died as a result of her injuries. When police arrived at the scene of the fatal crash, FaceTime was still active on the young man’s iPhone.

“Here’s where Apple comes into the picture,” explained Austin wrongful death attorney Brooks Schuelke, not involved in this case. “In 2008, Apple designed technology to prevent a FaceTime user activating the app if the GPS indicated a vehicle was travelling at a certain speed.” Court documents allege that Apple failed to implement a safer, alternative design that locked FaceTime users from the application while driving.

The technology to limit access to an application based on speed recorded by GPS, is widely used. For example, most cars with video display consoles do not allow the consoles to be changed or modified while the vehicle is in motion. “Which also begs the question why someone would drive and be using FaceTime while doing so. It is definitely distracted driving,” added Schuelke.

When negligence or intentionally harmful behavior on the part of a third party is present in a wrongful death case, there is a good chance the plaintiff will win their case in court. Such a lawsuit aims to claim compensation from those considered to be legally liable for the death of the victim(s). “A wrongful death claim is suitable if the deceased would have been able to file a lawsuit for personal injuries had they lived,” added Schuelke.

As an example, a wrongful death lawsuit may be filed against:

· an at fault driver or driver’s employer that caused a fatal car accident
· an installer, maker and/or distributor of a defective car part
· a physician who neglects to properly diagnose/treat a condition

Wrongful death lawsuits are usually filed by immediate family members (including a spouse/partner), parents of minors, children (biological/adoptive) and anyone else who can claim financial dependence on the victim.

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