back to article Woman sues Google after highway knockdown

An LA woman is suing Google after accusing its mapping service of encouraging her to walk along a high speed State Route in Utah. The Salt Lake City Tribune reports that Lauren Rosenberg's suit claims that while visiting Salt Lake City, Utah she used Google Maps via her BlackBerry for directions to to walk from 96 Daly Ave to …


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  1. Sekundra

    Out of Court Settlement

    Hmm... $100K or a long expensive legal case? Would Google like to settle? Pull the other one etc.

  2. Paul 131

    no warning on iPhone

    so I guess google maps on mobile devices needs a little fine tuning. One the other hand what happened to common sense?

  3. irish donkey
    Thumb Up

    A little different from GOD told me to do

    But on the other hand of she hadn't followed the instruction she may have never qualified for a Darwin award or at least a honourable mention.

  4. Stefing

    "It's not clear"

    If you use Google Maps on a mobile device it clearly states that walking directions are in BETA, USE CAUTION etc. etc.

    Also: that they shouldn't be used by stupid, lawsuit-happy cretins.

    Although I may have imagined that last bit.

    Does that mean I can sue Google too?

  5. Sureo

    everyone devoid of common sense

    Highways around here expressly forbid pedestrians. There is clear signage and the police will ticket you if they catch you. Why Google would direct pedestrians there is a mystery, perhaps the courts will clear that up if it gets that far.

  6. Adrian Jones


    Is "the computer made me do it" going to replace "the devil made me do it"?

    1. Chris Harden

      rock music!

      She must have been listening to that devil rock-music on her phone when it told her to do it.

      1. John Lilburne Silver badge


        As it was Google, "the devil made me do" is still appropriate.

    2. tomboi1978

      Not a highway

      She wasnt directed to a highway. It was a state road. State roads frequently have a high speed limit but are not off limits to pedestrians. Probably because we mistakenly believe that people are still responsible for their own actions or that the person who caused an accident will be held responsible and not a completely blameless party who has deep pockets.

      1. LateNightLarry

        Not a highway...

        Several years ago my son was sued for a million dollars because he didn't force a girl who had been drinking to accept a ride home, with her car on the back of the tow truck he was driving. When she and her friend refused the ride home, he left them in the parking lot and went to get some sleep. More than an hour later, about 3:30 in the morning (the bar closed at 2:00), and about 15 miles from where he left them in the parking lot, the girl driving crossed the center line and hit another car head on, killing both girls, and seriously injuring the driver of the other car.

        Why was he sued? One, he was the last one to admit to talking to them at the bar. When the Highway Patrol was trying to backtrack on their activities, he came forward and told the bears what he knew, and got sued for trying to be a Good Samaritan. Two, he was driving a tow truck... the tow truck company was dragged into the suit as well. The driver of the other car was looking for deep pockets. He was finally dropped from the case, but it cost our car insurance company AND our homeowner's insurance company $10,000 each, plus attorney's fees. The mother of the girl who was driving had to sell her house to pay the biggest portion of the settlement, and the girl had not lived with her mother for several years and had her own insurance on the car.

        My son will NEVER offer someone a ride home again.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Not a highway... → # ↑

          Good ol' U.S. of A. lawyers eh?

          This sort of "someone else is always to blame" attitude is becoming prevalent here in the y.U.K. as well - don't know if the new Coalition of Lesser Evils will take a step back from the Abyss started by the "there's no such thing as Society" woman and dug deeper by the Blair incarnation of the AntiChrist .

          Probably not.

  7. Evil Auditor Silver badge

    Dear Lauren,

    ...and if I say "jump!" you jump off the bridge?

    (yes please, I'd like to add)

  8. Anonymous Coward


    """This, according to the suit, is an area "where vehicles travel at a high rate of speed and [is] devoid of pedestrian sidewalks"."""

    Spare me your science fiction sir!

    I need a coffee, or to put it in lawyer speak... 'coffee is an area of water where caffeine exists at a high rate of concentration and is devoid of pedestrian sidewalks!'

  9. This post has been deleted by a moderator

  10. Eddy Ito Silver badge

    Says it all really

    "It is of course puzzling why Rosenberg did not use the evidence of her own eyes to decide Google Maps' instructions were best ignored."

    Perhaps she isn't the sharpest knife in the block.

    "Almost as puzzling as why she has set the lower bar for suing the world's biggest ad broker at a mere $100,000."

    Well there you go, she isn't exactly as bright as burning magnesium now is she.

  11. Anonymous Coward

    The Land Of The Merkins

    no more text.

  12. jake Silver badge

    Easy answer.

    "Almost as puzzling as why she has set the lower bar for suing the world's biggest ad broker at a mere $100,000."

    Because she's a fucking idiot, would be my guess. At least so the evidence suggests.

  13. TeeCee Gold badge

    Those injuries.

    "causing her to suffer........emotional, and mental injuries...."

    I guess that'll be the dawning realisation that she really is the dumbest fuckwit ever to walk the face of the earth at work then?

  14. A Non e-mouse Silver badge

    No Darwin for her

    Another failed attempt to win a Darwin award.

  15. Arclight


    Remember when your mum used to say "Would you jump off a bridge if *insert name of childhood friend* told you to"

    It seems that when it comes to Satnav and other navigation aids the answer is yes.

    1. spodula


      "It seems that when it comes to Satnav and other navigation aids the answer is yes."

      Satnavs always amuse me especially for postcodes.

      Being out in the sticks a bit, My local scout site has the same postcode as bunch of buildings across the other side of a rather torrential river. We regularly get people getting lost around there though, despite the large warning in the directions (Which are ignored cos they have a satnav!)

      Of course, the best quote i ever heard was from my Dad, who was a long time TA member:

      The thing about Satnavs in this country, is that there all based on the ORDNANCE survey data.

      Of course, lots have been updated since the time when it was mostly a military mapping service, but you can bet that out in the deep countryside, there are bits that havent been updated since the 1940's and have routes on them that are only passable in a tank.

    2. peyton?

      Not quite

      You have to put up a web site that says "jump off a bridge!"

      Coming from a "person" the order may be met with suspicion... but as we all know, computers are infallible and can always be trusted.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Easy answer

      My conclusion was that the physical injury was to the head so no real harm done other than a slight dent. $100,000 less one dollar for a tub of polyfilla equals $99,999 profit.

    4. Arkasha


      because the lawyers know she has a very weak case and anything more might cause Google to fight back. On the other hand, going for slightly more than $100k will mean she'll probably get an out of court settlement, pay off her medical bills (that will probably be covered by insurance anyway) and still have a few $k left over for some new Bulgarian airbags that she's always wanted but could never afford.

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Damn Americans...

    Not only did she fail at life but also at death as survival means she isn't eligible for a Darwin Award.

  17. Ball boy

    Never mind the lawsuit: where's Darwin when you need him?

    /Skull and cross bones because I hear them serenading this woman

  18. Anonymous John

    Did this sort of thing happen before GPS?

    Ye Olde Register.

    "A Devon woman is suing Ordnance Survey after accusing its mapping service of encouraging her to walk through the Great Grimpen Mire. She is asking for two thousand guineas for the mental and emotional effects of having to be dragged out of the bog by a farmer with a team of oxen."

  19. Dr. Mouse Silver badge

    This is the very reason...

    ... there should be a Darwin's Law.

    If you do anything which is so stupid that you SHOULD have been killed, we will remove you from the gene pool ourselves. Firing squad at dawn.

    To be a little more serious, why do people not just use a generalised disclaimer: "Stupid people may not enter/use our product etc.." If she is so stupid that she cannot figure out that it is dangerous to walk on what seems to be similar to a motorway, she deserves everything she gets! It's worse than the guy who got his car stuck on that dirt track following his satnav. Unbeleivable!

  20. Rumcajz


    One would think she could and indeed should have noticed both the lack of a sidewalk and the speed of the cars. Given that she has a map in front of her, she could choose an alternate route if she was unhappy with the suitability of the road.

    Regardless, I would hold the driver responsible for hitting a pedestrian. Last time I checked (admittedly, it has been a while), hitting pedestrians wasn't allowed, even if said pedestrian is intently following the directions on their phone...

  21. Hugh Jorgen


    Was this one not cleansed from the gene pool?

    Gone are the days when basic road safety ruled the decisions of the pedestrian, long forgotten are the warnings of the man walking ahead with the red flag. Since the introduction of shat-nav and Google maps do pedestrians now think they're invincible?

    Personally I think the driver should be sued by the rest of us for not reversing and finishing what he/she started......!!!

    Epic driving fail!!!!

    1. The Indomitable Gall

      You know what?

      There's probably already been lots of people who *have* been killed because of this. We only haven't heard about it because they're dead and their iPhones got trashed in the accident.

      This is actually dangerous, you know.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Thumb Up

        Re: You know what?

        Subtle. One caught already.

    2. Paul Shirley

      bet she ran the car down ;)

      In my part of the world when a suicidal or plain stupid pedestrian stumbles into the path of a car we don't automatically blame the car driver. We already know this woman is stupid, I want to hear more than her word before deciding who's at fault here.

    3. fishman

      Hitting a Pedestrian

      There are places that pedestrians are not allowed. And if this was one, she could be liable for any damages to the car. From wikipedia for jaywalking:

      "Following the Uniform Vehicle Code, state codes often do not prohibit a pedestrian to cross a roadway between intersections if at least one of the two adjacent intersections is not controlled by a signal, but stipulate that a pedestrian not at a crosswalk must yield the right of way to approaching drivers."

      1. Anonymous Coward


        That's one of the things that amazes me about the US of A. In the Land of the Free and Home of the Brave it's illegal to cross the road other than at an intersection. In good old Blighty we can cross wherever we damn' well please.

        1. Andy ORourke

          Yeah, Right on

          Check out all the knob ends that run accross the road, risking life and limb and sometimes children in prams because they cant be arsed to walk 20 metres to a perfectly serviceable crossing point. Yeah, arent we so much better than the rest of the world!

    4. Arkasha
      Paris Hilton


      the driver thought they were playing Carmeggedon...

    5. Paul 4

      Not if it was an accident

      Like, she was in the carrageway and got hit by a driver who didn't see her. But then if the driver was not paying attention... It all depends on exactly how and why she was hit.

    6. heyrick Silver badge

      Dragged out by a team of oxen?

      Sounds like somebody needed Ye Watchers of Weight meals...

      1. Anonymous John

        Re Dragged out by a team of oxen?

        Usually just a pair. I imagine ye farmer had two to hand, already yoked.

  22. John Dougald McCallum


    it sounds like all the other satnav induced cockups to me user is an idiot and should not be alowed out on their own.Stop sign as this is what she should have done.

  23. foo_bar_baz

    The real WTF

    ... is the $100K in medical expenses. If she loses the case and is bankrupt at least she can be safe in the knowledge that the US is still a bulwark against the commie evil of <whisper>socialized medicine</whisper>.

  24. neil hanvey

    $100,000 in hospital bills

    $100,000 in hospital bills in america, what did she do, break a fingernail?

  25. The Indomitable Gall

    A possible explanation

    "It is of course puzzling why Rosenberg did not use the evidence of her own eyes to decide Google Maps' instructions were best ignored.

    Almost as puzzling as why she has set the lower bar for suing the world's biggest ad broker at a mere $100,000."

    Her lawyer probably figures that given that she ignored the law and (presumably) at least one "no pedestrians" sign, she has a better chance of winning a claim centred on direct costs than punitive damages.

  26. max allan

    Crash for cash?

    Maybe she's stupid or maybe she's quite clever.

    1. Find an instance where there isn't a safety disclaimer.

    2. Do something unsafe because you weren't told not to.

    3. Claim a not unreasonable amount that might be settled out of court.

    Of course her injuries might have been quite nasty and being hit by a car moving at high speed would seem to me to be likely to cost / worth more than $100K..

    But maybe this is an easy (and painful) way to get a couple of years of salary and time to spend at home.

  27. Nigel Brown

    Obviously related to Forrest Gump

    Stupid is as stupid does.

  28. Old Tom

    Streetview shows me...

    Although there's no p̶a̶v̶e̶m̶e̶n̶t̶ sidewalk down that stretch of road, there's sufficient space to walk along without putting your feet on the road surface - unless she's one of those 4 foot wide Utahans.

  29. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Just Americans

    Saying its just all Americans kind of puts you in the same boat as people walking blindly according to Google's instructions, if you truly believe what you say, that is. And, if you don't TRULY believe its all Americans, which it isn't, then why would you say that?

    I'm losing respect for Reg readers now. I thought this was a sensible group? I guess many just have "business sense".

  30. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    It could have been worse

    Good thing Google fixed their maps in the last year or so.... It used to be that if you asked for directions from New York to Paris, it included a step : Swim the Atlantic ?!??!

  31. Puck

    Forget this woman's stupidity...

    ... I'm aghast at the thought of somebody having agreed to insure/be liable for the other side's costs...


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