Woman sues Google over Utah walking directions

Jun 01, 2010 By PAUL FOY , Associated Press writer

(AP) -- A pedestrian injured by a motorist while following an online route has filed a lawsuit claiming Google Inc. supplied unsafe directions.

Lauren Rosenberg filed a lawsuit on Thursday seeking more than $100,000 in U.S. District Court in Utah. It also named a motorist she says hit her.

Rosenberg used her phone in January to download directions from one end of Park City to the other.

Google Maps led her to a four-lane boulevard without sidewalks that was "not reasonably safe for pedestrians," according to the lawsuit filed by the Northridge, Calif., resident.

The case has become a sensation on tech blogs, websites and cable television channels, with critics assailing the woman for ignoring her own safety to blindly follow online directions. Her lawyer, Allen Young, said the truth was different.

Rosenberg believed she could reach a sidewalk on the other side of Deer Valley Drive and tried to cross the boulevard, but didn't even make it to the median, he said.

She was struck by a speeding car on a pitch-black night and received multiple bone fractures that required six weeks of rehabilitation, Young added.

"We think there's enough fault to go around, but Google had some responsibility to direct people correctly or warn them," 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 seeking compensation for medical bills, plus more for lost wages and punitive damages. The lawsuit provided no other information about the woman, who has been misidentified online as a Los Angeles publicist by the same name.

Young said the woman is a native of Northridge in her mid-20s and is unemployed. No phone listing could be found for her.

Google spokeswoman Elaine Filadelfo said the company had not received a copy of the lawsuit and couldn't discuss it, but she disputed Young's assertion that Google Maps provides no warning that walking routes may be missing sidewalks or pedestrian paths.

Every software version for desktop computers and mobile devices has had that disclaimer since Google Maps was launched in 2008, she said.

Park City police said some segments of Deer Valley Drive have sidewalks but not the stretch that Rosenberg reached. The boulevard has a walking path on the side Rosenberg failed to reach, police Capt. Rick Ryan said.

Young said the walking path was "totally snowpacked" and of no use to pedestrians in January.

Explore further: Fitbit to Schumer: We don't sell personal data

5 /5 (1 vote)
add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Google Maps accused of unfair competition in France

Jul 29, 2009

A French company is taking Google Maps to court for unfair competition, seeking 500,000 euros (706,000 dollars) in damages from the US-based Internet giant, a judicial official said Wednesday.

Recommended for you

Fitbit to Schumer: We don't sell personal data

3 hours ago

The maker of a popular line of wearable fitness-tracking devices says it has never sold personal data to advertisers, contrary to concerns raised by U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer.

Should you be worried about paid editors on Wikipedia?

8 hours ago

Whether you trust it or ignore it, Wikipedia is one of the most popular websites in the world and accessed by millions of people every day. So would you trust it any more (or even less) if you knew people ...

How much do we really know about privacy on Facebook?

9 hours ago

The recent furore about the Facebook Messenger app has unearthed an interesting question: how far are we willing to allow our privacy to be pushed for our social connections? In the case of the Facebook ...

Philippines makes arrests in online extortion ring

9 hours ago

Philippine police have arrested eight suspected members of an online syndicate accused of blackmailing more than 1,000 Hong Kong and Singapore residents after luring them into exposing themselves in front of webcam, an official ...

Google to help boost Greece's tourism industry

22 hours ago

Internet giant Google will offer management courses to 3,000 tourism businesses on the island of Crete as part of an initiative to promote the sector in Greece, industry union Sete said on Thursday.

Music site SoundCloud to start paying artists

Aug 21, 2014

SoundCloud said Thursday that it will start paying artists and record companies whose music is played on the popular streaming site, a move that will bring it in line with competitors such as YouTube and Spotify.

User comments : 2

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

NotAsleep
not rated yet Jun 01, 2010
Wow.

The road she was walking on has large shoulders... perhaps she was walking in the street so she wouldn't get a ticket crossing the white line?
extremity
not rated yet Jun 02, 2010
I think its silly that someone can try to sue a big company for on the fly directions. It is purely your own responsibility to know where you are going before you go somewhere, especially a walking path. Its pretty silly that someone can disregard the use of their own judgment and haphazardly jeopardize their safety and blindly following general directions and then try to sue someone else for it. When it comes right down to it, it is straight up ILLEGAL to cross large multiple lane roads without a pedestrian crossing or crosswalk. And to do something illegal like crossing a multiple lane boulevard in the DARK with NO crosswalk just lacks plain common sense. That is like suing a map company because they only show streets but not crosswalks... I feel awful that this woman was hit, but it is her own personal responsibility to follow the basic traffic and pedestrian laws.