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 @ 5:56pm

    I understand completely, but respectfully disagree - and the disconnect is simply in what we each define as a "right". In our women-in-India example, I feel as though they do have the same rights that should be afforded to all humans (i.e. freedom of religion, freedom of speech, freedom to choose one's government, basically all the goodies in the 1st Amendment sprinkled with some good ol' fashion common sense), but they simply don't have the liberty to exercise those rights. Let me explain using your quote:

    A person's rights are subject to the laws they allow themselves to be governed by.

    North Koreans are starved for contact to the outside world. Although the Democratic People's Republic of Korea is labeled as a democracy, we all know it's everything but - and more like it's run by a totalitarian dictator. These people have no way of overthrowing that government, meaning there is a very large difference between "allowing" yourself to be controlled by, or simply being forcefully oppressed into subjugation. Therefore, it stands to reason that rights are always yours, but often are not able to be willfully exercised, however they will always be there. It's more a fact of human dignity than anything else.

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