Should Apple Be Held Responsible for Wrongful Death Caused by FaceTime While Driving?

In 2014, a five-year-old girl was killed in a car accident near Dallas on Christmas Eve. Police investigating the accident found that the driver who caused the crash had been using FaceTime, an app that allows users to livestream video to the Internet. Now, the family of the decedent is suing Apple, the company that created FaceTime.

The crash happened when the driver, distracted by FaceTime, plowed into the back of the vehicle containing the little girl. The car was stopped due to traffic. In addition to the wrongful death of the five-year-old, another daughter and both parents sustained serious injuries.

Is Apple Liable?

The lawsuit alleges that Apple should be held accountable because they knew the dangers of using FaceTime while driving. Apple filed for a patent in 2008 that would lock the driver’s ability to use FaceTime while driving. The patent was granted in 2014. However, the smartphone manufacturer failed to add the technology to the iPhone 6 Plus, the phone involved in the crash. Because Apple failed to provide this important technology and failed to warn users that the product could be dangerous if used in that way, the family’s attorney argues that Apple should be liable. After all, iPhones come with GPS, and it would not be difficult for the FaceTime app to detect that a person is driving based on the speed that the GPS signal from the phone moves.

Should Apple be liable for this accident? Or does the blame fall solely on the shoulders of the distracted driver? Leave us a comment with your opinion.



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