Apple Sued for Texting While Driving Fatalities
Updated: Mar 25, 2019
A new lawsuit, filed in federal court in Tyler, Texas, accuses Apple of failing to use available technology to lock out calls and texts while driving. The suit alleges that, in April 2013, a pickup being driven by Ashley Kubiak collided with a Chevy Tahoe. At the time of the accident, the suit claims, Kubiak was checking messages on her iPhone. The driver and one passenger of the Tahoe died. The other passenger, a seven year old girl (who had survived childhood leukemia) was rendered paraplegic. Kubiak was indicted and found guilty of two counts of criminally negligent homicide, allegedly based on distracted driving through the use of her iPhone.
The lawsuit refers to numerous studies on the issue of texting while driving and notes that forty one states, and the District of Columbia, have banned texting while driving. It faults Apple for failing to add to iPhones available software to stop the phones from receiving texts, emails, social media posts, messages and notifications while driving. The survivor claims that Kubiak’s iPhone contained the necessary hardware to do such a “lock out”, but that Apple failed to configure the phone to do so.
The suit is brought under claims of strict product liability and negligence. It has been filed in a venue that has not been friendly to big high tech companies. Expect Apple to wage all out war against this one.
Texting while driving is a national epidemic. But drivers are also often wrongfully accused of it. Contact The Law Office of Phil Griffis, at (832) 284-4013 with any questions about this or similar legal concerns.