The parents of a 5-year-old Texas girl who died in a car crash on Christmas Eve in 2014 have filed suit against Apple Computers, alleging the accident was caused in part by the fact that the driver of the other vehicle was using FaceTime when the collision occurred. The parents were both seriously injured.
According to the lawsuit, the parents of Moriah Modisette were in a traffic snarl just north of Dallas when they were struck from behind by a driver traveling an estimated 65 miles per hour. The force of the collision turned the family’s Toyota Camry around so that it was facing oncoming traffic. The other driver, in a Toyota 4Runner, then rolled his vehicle over the top of the Modisette car. The 5-year-old was airlifted from the scene after protracted efforts to extract her from the crumpled vehicle.
In their complaint, the Modisettes contend that the driver of the 4Runner was distracted because he was using the FaceTime feature on his Apple iPhone 6 Plus. The lawsuit alleges that the technology giant knew that iPhone users were using FaceTime while driving and had taken no measures to prevent such a thing from happening. They urge Apple to install technology that automatically disables the chatting feature if a vehicle is moving. The lawsuit alleges that Apple was liable for
“wrongful failure to install and implement the safer, alternative design for which it sought a patent in 2008…to ‘lock out’ the ability of drivers to utilize the ‘FaceTime’ application on the Apple iPhone while driving a motor vehicle.”
The driver of the other vehicle, a 20-year-old Texas man, was indicted on manslaughter charges, but has not been prosecuted yet. He is currently free on bail.
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