A man in the USA drove onto a bridge that hadn’t led anywhere for nine years, according to the navigation system. Survivors sue Google

27. 09. 2023 | Kristýna Bezděková

A family in North Carolina has sued the US company Google over out-of-date maps. Exactly a year ago, the family says Philip Paxson died on his way back from his daughter’s birthday party because of it. Google Maps navigation led him to a bridge that locals have called the Bridge to Nowhere for nine years. It is in a state of disrepair and is not being used. Paxson and his car crashed into the river and drowned.

According to the family’s attorney, the accident would not have happened if the company’s maps had been properly updated. The family has therefore decided to sue Google, the BBC pointed out on Thursday.

Philip Paxson was returning from his nine-year-old daughter’s birthday party, where he had stayed late to help clean up. Then, as he drove home that night, Google’s navigation guided him to a bridge in the town of Hickory that was in a state of disrepair. The car crashed into the river, and the man did not survive the accident.

According to locals, the bridge had collapsed and had not been used for nine years before the tragedy. Google was reportedly alerted repeatedly to this event by local residents, but no map updates were made. And that is the main reason why the Paxson family is now taking the internet giant to court. “The father of two, being ignorant of local roads, relied on Google’s maps and expected them to lead him safely to his home – to his wife and daughters,” the survivors’ lawyers justified the filing of the lawsuit.

“He drove carefully, but in the dark and rain he fell into Snow Creek, where he drowned. Little did he know that he was following outdated navigation instructions from Google to a bridge that for nearly a decade was called the ‘Bridge to Nowhere,'” the lawyers added.

They are not only directing their criticism at the internet giant, they are also taking the three US companies responsible for the bridge’s maintenance to court. According to the lawyers, this is how the family wants to achieve “greater safety on the roads” in the first place.

Google is clearly not taking the lawsuit lightly. “Our main goal is to provide accurate information about individual routes on maps. We are now studying the lawsuit,” a Google spokesman said, expressing his condolences to the family.

Source, photo: bbc.com, pixabay.com

Author of this article

Kristýna Bezděková

Kristýna is a student of marketing and communication in an undergraduate program. She writes and translates content into the Czech language


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