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
    lux (profile), 3 May 2010 @ 5:12pm

    Correct me if I'm wrong, but your original argument wasn't that rights were human contructs (which I absolutely agree with), but rather it's our ability (or disability) to _enforce_ them that makes them valid:

    "The statement is that if you are unable to unwilling to have your right enforced, then you don't have that right." Now, I partially agree with this, but not in the way we both want (at least I think). Woman in India surely don't "have" the same rights as woman in America, (my gf is currently teaching English to kids in Dharamsala, India, so I've heard a lot about this.), however, to me, that doesn't mean they don't in general have the same rights as other woman - they are just being infringed upon. This is NOT to say they don't exist. They may not be present or respected, but these woman do have the same rights as woman in the US or in any part of the world.

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