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. identicon
    Danny, 3 May 2010 @ 12:22pm

    So somehow its unfair to expect her to protect herself but it is fair to expect this GPS provider to have somehow known what that guy's intentions were.

    I suppose the next time I'm hacked I'll find out what OS the hacker used and sue them because MS, Apple, Red Hat, etc... should have known that the hacker would use their OS in such a manner.

    If I have a neighbor that plays loud music at all hours of the night I'll sue musician whose album was playing because Vanilla Ice should have know his music would be played like that.

    And if my car is broken into does this mean I get to sue the maker of the tools that the thief used since Black & Decker should have known their tools could be used that way?

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