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
    Dark Helmet (profile), 3 May 2010 @ 2:01pm

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

    "Again, are you serious?"

    Yes, I'm serious. And I'm no expert, hence the conversation. I'm asking questions, not asserting that my interpretation is absolutely correct....

    "We have inalienable rights as human beings (i.e. the fucking Declaration of Independence)."

    Hm, your crassness aside, I think there's a very important subtelty in the DoI that kind of lends credence to what I said when I disagreed with Lobo. "We hold these truths to be self-evident..." The only reason the rights exist is because of the collective agreement that they did. They founding fathers then went on to describe why they were going to enforce those rights. Without the collective agreement to enforce them, I'm not sure those rights exist as a matter of principle. Certainly the DoI does not apply to all humans, even if the founding fathers suggested that the rights did (although they were awfully selective when it came to defining "all men", weren't they?)

    "If other parties infringe on them, that doesn't mean they never existed."

    I agree. I never said otherwise. It isn't the act of infringement that negates the right, it's the inability or unwillingness to defend/enforce the right that *might*.

    On a separate note, why don't you do me a favor and take out the stick of balsa wood that is currently grinding against your sphincter and calm down? I'm a lot of things, and not all of them good, but overly-assertive, conversationally domineering, and bullshitter aren't among them....

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