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
    out_of_the_blue, 3 May 2010 @ 3:08pm

    On-topic support for Rose M. Welch and lux.

    I'm sure that those you're arguing with -- futilely -- have a fantasy of themslves as rugged, two-fisted, hard-drinking individualists when they're keyboard commandos at best. You're trying to discuss real rights when in their fantasy world (as in role playing games), at worst they re-spawn after a pause despite just being blown to bits.

    A major benefit of society is that it should exact revenge for those who can't protect themselves, often because dead. Anyone who's out to get anyone need only find opportunity to sneak up behind. Doesn't matter how big and tough you think you are, a little piece of wood will DROP you.

    Opportunity is EXACTLY the ability that this company is selling. IF they were in fact notified at all in this case, I consider them DEEPLY liable because their device precisely enables what's otherwise difficult: location.

    Have a quote I think apropos, or useful even if not. So far as I know it's original with Rex Stout (author of Nero Wolfe). He's advising people who are incidentally involved in a crime scene: "You cannot answer a policeman by yourself. It takes a whole nation to answer a policeman."

    You who think your rights only exist if you can assert them by yourself are helping ensure that society falls apart into a police state.

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