Victim Of Domestic Abuse Sues GPS Company For Helping Her Assailant

from the it's-the-tool dept

Michael Scott points us to the news of a new lawsuit that hopefully doesn't get very far, but which does highlight the frequency with which third parties are sued these days, not because they have any actual liability, but because they have money. In this case, a woman is suing a GPS vehicle tracking service, Foxtrax Vehicle Tracking, because her domestic partner used the service to figure out where she was and to attack her. It sounds as though the guy put the tracking device on the woman's car in order to stalk her. It's difficult to think that anyone could find the company liable here for the actions of the guy. I'm sure it's upsetting that the guy was able to track her, and she has every right to press all sorts of charges against the guy. But the GPS tracking company was merely the technology provider.

However, this is yet another example of what I've called "Steve Dallas lawsuits," after a Bloom County cartoon strip, I remembered from decades ago, where the character Steve Dallas (a lawyer, who gets beaten up by Sean Penn when he tried to take his photograph -- some things never change), explains why after going through all the options on who to sue, he chooses to sue the camera manufacturer, the made-up Nikolta, because it's "a major corporation with gobs of liquid cash...."

Filed Under: domestic abuse, gps, liability, third party liability
Companies: foxtrax vehicle tracking


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  1. icon
    Alan Gerow (profile), 3 May 2010 @ 12:05pm

    Re: Re: If you want to make something criminal...

    While I do believe in self-reliance and self-defense, I don't agree with the sentiments of the original poster to the extent he does in culpability. That aside, I think your tossing around babies (which is fun) is missing the point he was trying to make.

    Children are not legally considered adults, and are under the care & supervision of someone else. So, in essence, it's the parents that are responsible for providing safety to the child. The child is not responsible for providing its own safety in the same regard.

    Police generally aren't a reliable service to prevent crime against someone. They are a service to find those responsible and bring them to courts. So, placing your faith in the police for protection is idiotic. You are responsible first and foremost for your own safety, and a parent is responsible for the safety of their child. The police are simply clean-up, not prevention. What do you think the likelihood a police officer is going to happen to be on the dark street a woman is who is getting mugged is on, or could get there in time to stop the crime? They may help find the mugger and prevent future crimes, but to that person on that street that night, the police won't help her from become a victim ... but a gun or karate could have. She's not responsible for what happened to her, the mugger is 100%, but she also didn't take many steps to preserve her own safety other than to sign off and let someone else take care of that for her. It's better to be alive than it is to be right (that's my core driving rule ... when in doubt, yield right-of-way, it's better to be alive than right).

    A baby technically DOES have bodyguards, and they generally call them mom & dad.

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