Apple sued over fatal ‘FaceTime crash’

BBC News:

An American couple, whose daughter was killed by a driver allegedly using FaceTime on his iPhone, have launched a lawsuit against Apple.

The lawsuit alleges that the firm should have introduced a feature that disabled use of the video-chat application while driving.

It points to a patent for such a feature for drivers filed by Apple in 2008.


The driver involved in the crash – Garrett Wilhelm – drove his SUV into the back of the Modisette family’s vehicle while travelling at high speeds.

The lawsuit documents state that he told police he was using FaceTime at the time of the crash and that the application was still active when police found his phone at the scene.

Mr Wilhelm is facing a jury trial on manslaughter charges in February.

So a driver was distracted due to using FaceTime while driving his car, which is illegal, and the family is holding Apple responsible? I’ve always said there should be an alert with FaceTime that says “you are going X mph, it is illegal to drive a car and FaceTime, hit OK if you are the driver” and Pokemon GO has actually added an alert like that as well.

But come on, the responsible party is the driver who was dumb enough to actually FaceTime and drive. At the least he could have been using audio mode.

At the same time, this is also tricky legal area, as the patent mentioned may make this case into more than the standard driving when texting accident and may set a precedent that triggers a wave of similar lawsuits? Does owning a patent on something bring with it responsibility to implement?