Can Apple be Held Responsible for FaceTime Usage in Fatal Distracted Driving Accident?

Can Apple be Held Responsible for FaceTime Usage in Fatal Distracted Driving Accident?

Can Apple be Held Responsible for FaceTime Usage in Fatal Distracted Driving Accident? 1000 667 Panter, Panter & Sampedro

Companies have a duty to make sure that the products they sell are safe, but who is liable when an individual uses the product in a way that was not intended and it results in injury or even death? That’s the question a family in California is asking after a fatal distracted driving accident.

Family sues Apple after fatal distracted driving accident

A family in California is suing Apple after their daughter died in a car accident that was caused by an individual who was using FaceTime while driving. The lawyers argue that Apple failed to properly warn consumers of the danger of using the video call feature while behind the wheel. In addition, they claim that Apple should have had technology installed on the phone that would have prohibited the use of dangerous features like FaceTime when a vehicle is traveling at highway speeds. The lawsuit further points out that the phone had the technological capabilities to have such a disabling option in place and that Apple is negligent for failing to do so.

On Christmas Eve in 2014 the Modisette family was traveling in their Toyota Camry when the driver slowed down due to heavy traffic. Tragically, Garrett Wilhelm, hit the car from behind at a speed of 65 miles per hour injuring the family and killing their 5-year-old daughter. After the accident, Wilhelm admitted to police officers that he was using FaceTime at the time of the crash and therefore wasn’t paying attention to what was going on in front of him.

Mobile phone product liability

Products liability claims are nothing new for the mobile phone industry. Last year, Samsung issued a massive recall of the Galaxy Note 7 after receiving multiple reports of the phone catching on fire. Moreover, mobile devices continue to pose a serious danger, as distracted driving incidents are still rampant. For this reason the NHTSA recently released driving mode regulations urging manufactures of electronic devices to install technology on phones and tablets to disable distracting features when a vehicle is moving.

If you’ve been injured or lost a loved one due to the negligence of another party, you may have the right to file a claim to recover damages. Speak with a personal injury attorney to learn more.


News, A. (2017, January 2). Family Sues Apple, Claiming FaceTime Distracted Driver in Crash That Killed 5-Year-Old Daughter. Retrieved January 04, 2017, from http://abcnews.go.com/US/family-sues-apple-claiming-facetime-distracted-driver-crash/story?id=44506168

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