Sunday, June 6, 2010

Entitled to Damages

Why is it that, in this day and age, anytime you have a problem with someone or something, you can just sue the shit out of them?

Have you walked into traffic and gotten hit by a car? You just may be Entitled To Damages.

ALLEGATION: Plaintiff Lauren Rosenberg alleges she was following walking directions from Google Maps and got hit by a car. She's suing Google for $100, 000 (because, apparently, that's how much getting hit by a car is worth.)

Here's the article and court documents. Oh, and her actual route. Let's go.

The court papers didn't explain why Rosenberg walked along state Route 224 instead of choosing streets with sidewalks.

That’s probably because she was drunk - I mean, what? Nothing.

Let’s look at the specifics: Google did tell her to walk down Route 224, yes. That’s the fastest route from A to B. But they didn’t tell her that when she hit Deer Valley Drive aka Route 224, she was in fact walking on a highway.

That’s because on their website, their walking directions have this disclaimer:

On the mobile version, they have it too (but she says they didn't.) That shouldn’t matter. If I’m looking for walking directions while I’m walking, that probably means I’m in unfamiliar territory and I’m sure as hell going to make an extra effort to pay attention to my surroundings.

Now, especially if all you’re going off of is the map directions and throwing caution to the wind when it comes to actually looking where you’re going, anyone smart enough to tie their own shoes should recognize the road colour and giant numbers and go, “Hey... there’s something different about this road.” This leads me to conclude she was wearing flip flops or Velcro sneakers.

But anyways, she gets to the highway...

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.

How tragically hopeful.

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. (via)

Is there a crosswalk there? No.
Is there even a sidewalk there? No.
Did she try to cross the road anyways? Yes.
Did she exhibit a reasonable amount of common sense in protecting her personal safety? No.

So, how is this Google’s fault?

Not for nothing, but what was this woman doing walking alone across a town that she didn’t know on a ‘pitch-black night’? This is a town of 7300. I have reason to believe she was returning to her hotel after an exciting night with a hillbilly (or two or three) she met at the Wasatch Brew Pub.

...So maybe she was drunk.

But if she was at all concerned about walking on a road with no sidewalks, she could have just gone down Park Ave. All she had to do was take the first left and go straight until she got to the crosswalk at Deer Valley and bam – she’s safe (In fact, Google Maps gives safe bicycling directions down Park Ave.)

Wasn’t that easy? You know how long it took me to figure that out? Ten seconds. And I don’t even live in Park City! All you have to do is use the zoom function - readily available to anyone – and figure your shit out before you just click and go.

For something called common sense, it seems be disappearing (and replaced by entitlement) at quite an alarming rate.

"As a direct and proximate cause of defendant Google's careless, reckless and negligent providing of unsafe directions, plaintiff Lauren Rosenberg was led onto a dangerous highway, and was thereby stricken by a motor vehicle," the lawsuit states.

Ahhh, Google is so careless and reckless. Those internet conglomerate rebels. They’re like the James Dean of online maps! You give them A and B, they tell you how to get to B from A? Why, I’ve never heard of such gross negligence!

Isn’t there some, maybe just a little bit of responsibility on the end user? Google doesn’t list stop signs. Does that mean you should just blow through them? Can you pull a U-turn, even though Google – unlike the sign in the actual street - doesn’t mention it’s illegal?

Google should file a countersuit against this woman for using their service when she’s clearly not intelligent enough to walk down the street without getting hit by a car.

Anyways, the lawsuit claims:

Defendant Google knew or should have known that Deer Valley Road, a. k. a. State route 224 is a rural highway exhibiting vehicles traveling at a high rate of speed.

You’re alleging Google should have known about this one road in this one rural town in Utah? Does Google know that the parking lot across the street from my house has a shallow driveway and any cars turning left scrape the shit out of their undercarriage going over the curb? Well, they ought to!

They have a responsibility to provide safe directions, right?

Google should allege that the Plaintiff “knows or should have known that walking through a strange town at night might be dangerous and she ought to have been more careful.”

I don’t think we have to worry about the Terminator-style robot uprising; we’re just going to do what the machines tell us to and kill ourselves by accident because that’s how stupid we are.

Consider the Google directions off this roof:

Hopscotch suicide, anyone?

JUDGEMENT: This woman is stupid.

MORAL LESSON: Take some personal responsibility for your safety. And learn to use the Google Maps zoom function.


  1. We live in a sue happy society. So much so that at work, we have to have boxcutters that automatically retract when you drop them, and that all the plastic says, DO NOT GIVE TO YOUR BABIES! This made me laugh. Hard. Hopscotch suicide.

  2. It's true; personal responsibility is quickly flying out the window, and it's cases like this (if she wins) that allow it to continue. It's like when a burglar falls through the skylight of a house, lands on a knife and sues the owner of the house for damages. It sets a very dangerous precedent and any judge who's worth his weight in salt (after all... that's why it's supposed to be a JUDGE) will tell this woman she should have used her fucking head. Google provided the directions, but she didn't have to take them. They warned her some routes may not include sidewalks. She chose to ignore that and use a place without sidewalks anyway.

    "I jumped off this cliff on my own accord! I mean, so-and-so told me to do it, but then I actually did it myself! I'm going to sue!"

    Hopefully this judge looks at the woman and laughs her out of court. If she wins... god help us all. Especially the judge.

  3. or when those 2 fat girls sued mcdonald's for oh yeah making them fat?.... also my main reason to comment was that when i looked at the google maps link the FIRST thing i noticed was that it said there were unpaved portions and spots with no sidewalks. maybe i noticed it because i knew the back-story of why i was looking at said map/directions/website.... or maybe i noticed it cause it was in a big yellow box mildly to the left of the centre of the screen! i'm not saying, i'm just sayin'. thought it was pure irony/funny that once i clicked back from "her actual route" and read-on there was the mention of the warning. great minds think alike.... ;)