Lawyer Explains Reasoning For Suing Google Over Walking Directions: It Was Dark

from the um.-ok. dept

Yesterday, we covered the bizarre lawsuit of a woman suing Google because she got hit by a car while trying to follow Google Maps' walking directions. Danny Sullivan, who broke the story, now has a follow up following a discussion with the woman's lawyer. Apparently, they feel the lawsuit is justified because it was early in the morning and it was dark out, so the woman couldn't properly see that the opposite side of the road had no sidewalk:
"It was 6 in the morning. It was not a busy street [then]. She believed there was a sidewalk on the other side." ....

"She was in an area that she'd never been to before. It was pitch black. There were no street lights. She relied on Google that she'd cross there and go down to a sidewalk."
Even if it wasn't a busy street, there's clearly no cross walk. And you'd have to think that even in the darkness, someone could recognize that. Again, Sullivan has the image:
On top of that, her decision to rely on Google is her decision. It's hardly Google's fault. And, if it wasn't a busy street at the time, you would think she would be able to time crossing the street to not get hit by a car. But she didn't:
In fact, Rosenberg never reached the other side. She left the end of Park Avenue to cross to the far side of Deer Valley Drive / State Route 224 and was struck while crossing.
The other bit of info that Sullivan cleared up is the fact that Google Maps walking directions on mobile phones do, in fact, carry a warning, which says: Walking directions (beta): use caution. The woman insists that no such warning was on the phone, but Google says it's been there since it launched walking directions.


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  1.  
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    aguywhoneedstenbucks (profile), Jun 2nd, 2010 @ 1:22pm

    The other bit of info that Sullivan cleared up is the fact that Google Maps walking directions on mobile phones do, in fact, carry a warning, which says: Walking directions (beta): use caution

    So she's not supposed to use caution if a product isn't in beta?

     

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  2.  
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    :Lobo Santo (profile), Jun 2nd, 2010 @ 2:00pm

    Nickel!

    Obviously this chick is somebody with more money than brains. I hope when the legal shat is over, she has a little more brains and a bit less money.

     

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  3.  
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    william (profile), Jun 2nd, 2010 @ 2:03pm

    Yay for people who feel like it's others' responsibility for their own actions!

    They are truly the great ones that keep lawyers' livelihood going!

     

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  4.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 2nd, 2010 @ 2:06pm

    If some lady is going to rely on a GPS or a map (sometimes maps are wrong because roads change) or Google maps or Google earth before she relies on her own common sense then she shouldn't be driving. Too tired? Don't drive? It was dark? Turn on your headlights. Still can't see? Get your vision checked. Doesn't work? License needs to be revoked. This lady shouldn't be driving if her excuse is that she relied on Google and can't see clearly and is too incompetent to have the headlights on and use common sense. Not that I'm the best driver in the world, but if I screw up it's not Google's fault, it's the fault of either poor vision, too tired to drive and think straight, or bad judgment.

     

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  5.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 2nd, 2010 @ 2:08pm

    Re:

    Basically I think the bigger issue here is how did this lady even get and maintain her license to begin with if she must rely on Google earth or a map or some other device to help her navigate instead of her own common sense and vision and hearing etc...

     

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    PaulT (profile), Jun 2nd, 2010 @ 2:09pm

    Re:

    Erm, she wasn't driving, she was following the walking instructions and was too stupid to realise that the busy road with no crossings or sidewalks was not intended for pedestrians.

     

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  7.  
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    PaulT (profile), Jun 2nd, 2010 @ 2:11pm

    Re: Re:

    Wow, is it seriously *that* hard for people to read the "walking" part of the headline?

     

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    Kurata, Jun 2nd, 2010 @ 2:12pm

    Re:

    She was walking.

    Still, common sense has it that if there's no light, you don't go walking on the street. that's just retarded.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 2nd, 2010 @ 2:16pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    You're right, sorry about that.

     

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    weneedhelp (profile), Jun 2nd, 2010 @ 2:17pm

    It was 6 in the morning. It was not a busy street [then]

    And this moron still got hit?

    Crosswalks? I live in a semi rural area and not only do most of the streets not have sidewalks, there are no crosswalks painted on the streets.

    Does that mean I cannot walk anywhere?

    Stupidity should not be rewarded.

     

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  11.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 2nd, 2010 @ 2:20pm

    AP article with interview and no attirbution in 5...4...3...

     

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    weneedhelp (profile), Jun 2nd, 2010 @ 2:21pm

    Small suggestion

    Take some reading comprehension courses.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 2nd, 2010 @ 2:23pm

    wtf?

    Was she relying on Google street view to see if a car was incoming? She probably didnt know her neck had a feature to turn both ways and look? May be that feature wasn't working also. Wow man.

     

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    weneedhelp (profile), Jun 2nd, 2010 @ 2:27pm

    Re: Re: by Kurata

    common sense?

    My street has no lights, sidewalks, or crosswalks. The surrounding streets do not as well. Does that mean I cannot walk anywhere after dark?


    Common sense tells you(or should tell you) to be careful and look both ways before you cross.

     

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    Yakko Warner, Jun 2nd, 2010 @ 2:34pm

    This doesn't help her case against the driver.

    She crossed a street, in the dark, where there was no crosswalk. 6am, in Utah, in January, she was probably wearing a winter coat (although that might presuppose some intelligence on her part that has clearly not been demonstrated); I wonder if the coat was dark-colored?

    Sounds like the lawyer just undermined their case against the driver who hit her.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 2nd, 2010 @ 2:36pm

    whoa

    How dumb is the lawyer?...clearly they should be suing the person who hit her! PED xing my friend, open and shut.

     

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    interval, Jun 2nd, 2010 @ 2:37pm

    Now whenever I slap some one for no reason I'm going to tell them to have a Mentos and relax; Google did it.

     

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    Yasha Heidari (profile), Jun 2nd, 2010 @ 2:37pm

    Worthless

    This lady never even made it to the other side-- there could have been a sidewalk there for all intents and purposes. Nonetheless, I hardly see how Google could be liable unless it was the Google van that hit her (and even then, I believe her own negligence would be a bar to recovery).

    Lawsuits like this give lawyers a bad name.

    Yasha Heidari
    Attorney-at-Law

     

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  19.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 2nd, 2010 @ 2:38pm

    Re: wtf?

    Haha. I was thinking the same thing. "Google View showed the road was clear!"

     

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  20.  
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    ECA (profile), Jun 2nd, 2010 @ 2:39pm

    Time and darkness.

    6am
    Dark
    Headlights from cars?
    Common SAFETY RULES?

    I can see here NOW..
    HEAD down reading her cellphone/laptop..NOT paying attention to the road or environment..

    Who heard about the GIRL going to school, Sending messages on her phone, WALKED OUT infront of a BUS...DEAD.

    Is this case ANY different.

    If you want to be treated as an ANIMAL, we can place her on a LEASH, and put her in a Dog house..
    I know DOGS that have more intelligence then this person.

     

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  21.  
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    vyvyan, Jun 2nd, 2010 @ 2:43pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Your commenting license should have been revoked by now.

     

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    Stuart, Jun 2nd, 2010 @ 2:43pm

    Re:

    Dumb bitch was walking, not driving.

     

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    Stuart, Jun 2nd, 2010 @ 2:46pm

    Class Action

    We need to get together and sue the driver of the car.
    It was HIS RESPONSIBILITY after hitting her to throw the car in reverse and finish the job.

     

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    Nastybutler77 (profile), Jun 2nd, 2010 @ 2:46pm

    Too dumb to be walking around

    Excuse me, Mr. Allen Young, Esq? So it was dark, there were no street lights, and the road wasn't busy. Yet she managed to get hit by what? An electric car with no headlights? If she's so dumb she can't tell a car is coming at her in the dark, she probably shouldn't have left her house (hotel) without someone of average intelligence accompanying her in the first place.

    Another question I'd ask her lawyer; was she wearing her helmet? You know; the one they make "special" people wear at all times. If not, then it's clearly all her fault.

     

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    weneedhelp (profile), Jun 2nd, 2010 @ 3:01pm

    Pictures are worth a thousand words?

    Did anyone actually go to google maps and "walk" around? I did. The picture presented does not clearly depict the surroundings. In fact, there are 2 guys in the picture. I guess they shouldn't be walking around either.(click once forward then turn around) This person was clearly a moron in a hurry. There is no indication that this was a restricted to pedestrians roadway. The 35 MPH speed limit would indicate that it is known that pedestrians use this roadway. Most 4 lane with a turning lane highways around here are 45-55. I am not defending her stupidity, she is clearly trying to get paid, but lets not exaggerate the surroundings either.

     

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  26.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 2nd, 2010 @ 3:04pm

    I had to look it up

    Section 41-6a-1002 of the Utah Traffic Code (under the heading Pedestrian Laws), subsection (1)(c) states:

    A pedestrian may not suddenly leave a curb or other place of safety and walk or run into the path of a vehicle which is so close as to constitute an immediate threat.

    I believe that if a car hits you, it was probably an immediate threat.

     

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  27.  
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    TheStupidOne, Jun 2nd, 2010 @ 3:09pm

    Re:

    Well I'm looking at that warning on my phone right now and can confirm that is exactly what is on my phone.

    However you are right, people should ALWAYS use caution when walking along roadways. I use lots of caution when I'm walking on sidewalks and marked crosswalks because other people are idiots and drive like they want someone to die

     

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    sleepneed99, Jun 2nd, 2010 @ 3:10pm

    I side with Darwin. If you are so dumb to rely solely on your phone (rather than common sense) to cross the street, you deserve to be hit by a car. No one can deny that she should have used more common sense.

     

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  29.  
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    Nastybutler77 (profile), Jun 2nd, 2010 @ 3:12pm

    Re: Pictures are worth a thousand words?

    "There is no indication that this was a restricted to pedestrians roadway."

    You mean other than the lack of a crosswalk and the absence of sidewalks on either side?

     

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  30.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 2nd, 2010 @ 3:14pm

    Re:

    RTFA. She was walking and couldn't carry headlights

     

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  31.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 2nd, 2010 @ 3:16pm

    Re:

    Did you read the article at all? She wasn't driving. She was walking across the street, staring at her phone.

     

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  32.  
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    Atkray (profile), Jun 2nd, 2010 @ 3:18pm

    The root cause of the problem isn't with the woman or the attorney, it is the judge that allows this to proceed.

     

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  33.  
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    chris, Jun 2nd, 2010 @ 3:20pm

    duh!

    Natural selection at it's best.

     

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  34.  
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    Pjerky (profile), Jun 2nd, 2010 @ 3:28pm

    Headlights?

    So this woman could not see the headlights of a car coming at her in the dark? The headlights would be sticking out like an atomic explosion at a picnic. This woman clearly should be instructed to NEVER go out in public unaccompanied again. She is obviously incapable of using the most basic of survival instincts. Big object heading at me fast, let me think should I walk in front of it or stay out of its way?

     

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    Rick, Jun 2nd, 2010 @ 3:30pm

    Wait.

    Shouldn't she sue herself too for being stupid?

     

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  36.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 2nd, 2010 @ 3:55pm

    Re: Re:

    We need to see a picture before commenting on her "headlights"!

     

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    Dan (profile), Jun 2nd, 2010 @ 3:57pm

    The lawsuit is wrong but.....

    Her getting hit was her own fault but....

    The whole jest of the lawyers argument is, since there was no crosswalk on the other side, Google should not have given the instruction to cross at all. I can see the logic there, even if Google is not liable.

    You wouldn't buy a GPS for the car that instructed you to drive in the middle of a 'pedestrians only' walk area just because it was a shortest route.

    If Google can't map the sidewalks more accurately, their product is worthless. The accuracy standard for this application should be high, since the consequences are more dire. At least when the GPS is wrong, you have the protection of a vehicle around you.

     

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  38.  
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    Nastybutler77 (profile), Jun 2nd, 2010 @ 4:16pm

    Re: Re:

    Hey, thanks for piling on. Alright I think five replies pointing out that she was "walking not driving" is quite enough to get the point across. Can we stop beating the horse now that it's been dead for a couple of hours?

     

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  39.  
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    Nastybutler77 (profile), Jun 2nd, 2010 @ 4:21pm

    Re: The lawsuit is wrong but.....

    "If Google can't map the sidewalks more accurately, their product is worthless. The accuracy standard for this application should be high, since the consequences are more dire."

    Hence the "Walking directions (beta): use caution." They are warning you that not all the kinks are worked out of it yet, so use at your own risk. And maybe not at all if you're a grade A moron.

     

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  40.  
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    Nastybutler77 (profile), Jun 2nd, 2010 @ 4:26pm

    Mecha Streisand Effect

    Like the Mecha Streisand in South Park, this is the Streisand Effect times 10,000. By filing this lawsuit Lauren Rosenberg has drawn a lot of attention to the fact that she should be declared legally retarded.

    If she had just accepted the fact that it was more her fault than anyone else's she could have gone the rest of her life with only the people she interacted with on a personal level knowing she was an idiot. Now the whole world is aware of that fact. I guess that's karma in action.

     

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  41.  
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    Dan (profile), Jun 2nd, 2010 @ 4:48pm

    Re: Re: The lawsuit is wrong but.....

    I guess the beta test is an epic fail.

     

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  42.  
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    The Devil's Coachman (profile), Jun 2nd, 2010 @ 5:30pm

    What intensely stupid cow this creature must be

    I mean, if she actually has a job at this moment, she should doubtless be terminated. No cause needed, just a corporate prohibition against hiring and retaining idiots, applied retroactively. Probably might succeed in convincing a jury that omitting her idiocy from the employment application constituted fraud.

    Would you entrust this woman with anything of value, such as your credit card, your health records, or even flipping your burgers. Of course not! Such an idiot should be put in permanent confinement until they can demonstrate that they have reduced their idiocy to acceptable levels, and it this country, that doesn't take a lot. I sincerely doubt she would ever see the light of day again.

    Every time I read of a case like this, I feel that the movie Idiocracy is actually a documentary of the current state of the world. It used to be funny, but now it is just so sad. So sad. And altogether too true.

     

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  43.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 2nd, 2010 @ 5:31pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    Not yet. There is a little bit of the hide not yet tenderized:
    She was walking, not driving!

    Ok I think I got it.

     

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    Clint, Jun 2nd, 2010 @ 5:34pm

    We should sue her

    ...for wasting perfectly good breathable air.

     

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  45.  
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    Nastybutler77 (profile), Jun 2nd, 2010 @ 5:38pm

    Re: Re: Re: The lawsuit is wrong but.....

    How so? Because some moron blindly followed bad directions? That doesn't mean the whole project should be scrapped, it means people need to "use caution" when following the routes and not assume they're perfectly safe. There were alternate routes the program listed that would have been safe, but she chose one that wasn't.

    A normal person would have realized that maybe it wasn't a good idea to cross a highway away from a crosswalk and asked the program for a different route. This moron chose not to do that, and for that lack of awareness she got what she deserved.

    I'm guessing you're of similar mental capacity as Ms. Rosenberg and follow all directions issued by your gadgets, since you're so adamant about this being Google's fault.

     

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  46.  
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    Nick Burns (profile), Jun 2nd, 2010 @ 5:43pm

    If she couldn't SEE NOT to cross the street, how could you expect her to SEE the disclaimer?
    /sarcasm

    I, too, thinks she's a grade A mornon. Sheesh!

     

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  47.  
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    Drivers anonymous, Jun 2nd, 2010 @ 6:20pm

    Did anybody think that maybe the driver was using Google streets and that is why he/she didn't see the pedestrian?
    Why is the driver not suing the pedestrian?

     

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  48.  
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    Drivers anonymous, Jun 2nd, 2010 @ 6:20pm

    Did anybody think that maybe the driver was using Google streets and that is why he/she didn't see the pedestrian?
    Why is the driver not suing the pedestrian?

     

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  49.  
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    Any Mouse, Jun 2nd, 2010 @ 7:21pm

    Re:

    That was already pointed out in an earlier article, today.

    http://techdirt.com/articles/20100601/1505529650.shtml

     

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  50.  
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    Any Mouse, Jun 2nd, 2010 @ 7:22pm

    Re: whoa

    They are suing the person who hit her. And no pedestrian crossing. In fact, on MOST highways, foot traffic is prohibited.

     

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  51.  
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    Any Mouse, Jun 2nd, 2010 @ 7:25pm

    Re: Time and darkness.

    Agreeing with you, here. Seeing Eye Dogs are trained to look both ways and not allow you to cross until it's clear. Why can't we train people the same way?

     

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    PrometheeFeu (profile), Jun 2nd, 2010 @ 7:31pm

    Re: The lawsuit is wrong but.....

    I have used the walking and biking directions which are both in beta and found them tremendously useful. Sure, sometimes, there is a mistake, but most of the time it gets me where I want to go... Instead of calling it worthless, I would say that it does not solve every single one of my routing problems. Which is fine. I don't expect any one tool to completely take care of all my needs.

     

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  53.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 2nd, 2010 @ 8:08pm

    google offered up the advice, and they are responsible for the results of their advice. would it be any different if any one of us stood nearby and told her to do the same thing?

     

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  54.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 2nd, 2010 @ 8:18pm

    Re:

    Go play in traffic. Since I offered up the advice you have no choice but to take it. Now fucking go.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 2nd, 2010 @ 8:57pm

    Re:

    Yes, it would be. Check another absurd analogy off on the TAM List of Terrible Arguments.

     

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    btrussell (profile), Jun 3rd, 2010 @ 3:57am

    6 am? It was dark? When did this happen, Dec. 21st?

    I guess it was too dark to see the headlights coming.

     

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  57.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 3rd, 2010 @ 7:12am

    Re:

    Yeah, ummmm, you need to read the article or the summary again. She wasn't driving she was walking. Do you typically just rant without reading what you are ranting about?

     

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    aguywhoneedstenbucks (profile), Jun 3rd, 2010 @ 7:53am

    Re: Re:

    I don't know for a fact but I don't think that's TAM. It's more of a dorpus statement without the insult.

     

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  59.  
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    weneedhelp (profile), Jun 3rd, 2010 @ 8:43am

    Re: Re: Pictures are worth a thousand words?

    "You mean other than the lack of a crosswalk and the absence of sidewalks on either side?"

    You live in a big city; Dont you?

    Nastybutler77, there are plenty of areas that dont have painted crosswalks or lights in my area, and the surrounding area, but it is obvious that ppl need to use those roadways to get around on foot.

    The road is 35 MPH. 4 lanes & a center turning lane. The nearest "big" street around me is a 2 lane with a foot and a half of shoulder and is 45 MPH.

    The township set the speed limit at 35, because if you actually go and look at the area, it is obvious it is used by pedestrians.

     

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    TravisO, Jun 3rd, 2010 @ 9:12am

    Ugh what?

    So she's suing Google because she didn't look before crossing the road?

     

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    ChrisB (profile), Jun 3rd, 2010 @ 9:25am

    Re: Re: Re: The lawsuit is wrong but.....

    >I guess the beta test is an epic fail.

    I'm going to guess that you are a glass-half-empty type guy.

     

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    Nastybutler77 (profile), Jun 3rd, 2010 @ 11:56am

    Re: Re: Re: Pictures are worth a thousand words?

    I actually grew up in a small town, but my parents taught me to look both ways before I crossed the road. If her parents didn't teach her the same thing maybe she should be suing them instead?

    Regardless of whether there was a crosswalk, or sidewalk, or not, it doesn't change the fact that she crossed the road in front of a moving vehicle and got hit because she wasn't paying attention. It has nothing to do with directions she was given.

     

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  63.  
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    Overtkill (profile), Jun 3rd, 2010 @ 12:00pm

    Why oh why, did she not take the BLUE PILL!

    :)

     

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  64.  
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    nasch (profile), Jun 3rd, 2010 @ 12:40pm

    Re: Re: Re: Pictures are worth a thousand words?

    The thing is, even if all that is true, it really doesn't change much of anything. I think we can all agree Google doesn't have anything to do with her getting hit by a car. And if there was no crosswalk, and the driver wasn't speeding, I would think they wouldn't be liable either, regardless of the speed limit or how obvious it is people need to walk next to the road. If you choose to cross a street with no crosswalk, it should be your responsibility to do so safely.

     

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  65.  
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    nasch (profile), Jun 3rd, 2010 @ 1:23pm

    Re: Re:

    You think it would be different? I think it would be exactly the same: totally the woman's responsibility.

     

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    Yeebok (profile), Jun 4th, 2010 @ 12:04am

    Was she using Street View ? She should have used the overhead view on a separate tab in her browser. Or turned her phone upside down to illuminate her path .. sad thing is for some stupid technicality she'll probably win ..

     

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  67.  
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    PaulT (profile), Jun 4th, 2010 @ 4:24am

    Re: The lawsuit is wrong but.....

    "You wouldn't buy a GPS for the car that instructed you to drive in the middle of a 'pedestrians only' walk area just because it was a shortest route."

    Actually, they all do that if the information stored hasn't been updated since the pedestrianised area was constructed. That's no excuse for not using your own eyes and common sense to think "hmmm... there's a pedestrian area ahead and signs telling me not to drive down it, maybe my GPS is wrong".

    "If Google can't map the sidewalks more accurately, their product is worthless."

    Bullshit. It's a *guide*, not gospel. I have a Lonely Planet guide to Andalucia that lists clubs in my former town that don't exist any more, or have different names. The guide is not "worthless", it's outdated. That's why it's a *guide* - things change and you have to use your judgement as to its contents. Same with Google - the walking directions are a guide to help save time working out a route. If she'd have gone to a gas station and bought a map, she may have worked out the same route, but just wouldn't have had doomed hopes of getting cash from a rich company when she made the same idiotic mistake.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  68.  
    identicon
    Dave, Oct 12th, 2010 @ 12:54am

    Re: Re: Pictures are worth a thousand words?

    Just because a roadway does not have crosswalks or sidewalks does not mean that you can't walk on it. Unless it's freeway or posted state routes that say you can't walk on it, you are allowed to.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  69.  
    identicon
    James Scotte, Oct 12th, 2010 @ 12:57am

    Re:

    What did Google do that was wrong? She was allowed to cross and walk on that street. Google should not have to tell you to look both ways, before crossing a street.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  70.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Nov 9th, 2010 @ 8:37am

    People are sueing everyone because they need money and think that this is the only way to make quick money. But they don't realized the suffering they caused people or families. I was hit while on duty 6 years ago, I never sued the person due to the fact that I was not going to gain anything by doing so, I would have problems for the rest of my life which I do. I sometimes have back or neck problems but I'm happy because I did not cause pain to a family by sueing. This family may not have had enough and we're barely making ends meet and then sued them. if everyone would think the same this would be a different world. But not everyone has God in their lives, they live their lives now but don't think about eternity. May god bless all thes people taht are suieng and forgive them, because we are all God's kids and we are sueing are own brothers and sisters.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  71.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Nov 9th, 2010 @ 8:37am

    People are sueing everyone because they need money and think that this is the only way to make quick money. But they don't realized the suffering they caused people or families. I was hit while on duty 6 years ago, I never sued the person due to the fact that I was not going to gain anything by doing so, I would have problems for the rest of my life which I do. I sometimes have back or neck problems but I'm happy because I did not cause pain to a family by sueing. This family may not have had enough and we're barely making ends meet and then sued them. if everyone would think the same this would be a different world. But not everyone has God in their lives, they live their lives now but don't think about eternity. May god bless all thes people taht are suieng and forgive them, because we are all God's kids and we are sueing are own brothers and sisters.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


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