Heartbroken family sue Apple after driver smashed into them and killed daughter ‘while using FaceTime’
The devastated family of a young girl killed in a car crash is suing Apple as the driver was using ‘FaceTime’ during driving, making the tech giant partly responsible for the death of the little girl.
Moriah Modisette was sitting in the back seat of her parents’ car when another car slammed into them and killed the five year old. The driver of the other car, Garrett Wilhelm, 22, is accused of using FaceTime when he drove into Moriah’s parents James and Bethany’s car at 65 miles an hour.
According to the investigator, Wilhelm, who has been charged with manslaughter, still had FaceTime active when the cops arrived on scene. The event happened on the Christmas Eve of 2014, the parents of the little girl has now filed a new lawsuit against Apple, claiming that FaceTime was a ‘substantial factor in causing the plaintiff’s injuries and decedent’s death.’
Apple Had Tech To Prevent the Crash
In court papers the family, from Texas, allege Apple is responsible for the death because of it’s “failure to install and implement the safer, alternative design for which it sought a patent in December 2008 to ‘lock out’ the ability of drivers to utilize the ‘FaceTime’ application on the Apple iPhone when driving a motor vehicle, which resulted in the injuries sustained by plaintiffs”.
In the complaint, the family further said: “Defendant Apple Inc. has had the technology to prevent these events, and the Modisettes’ injuries, specifically since at least Dec. 12, 2008, when it filed an application with the US Patent Office for a ‘driver handheld computing device lock-out.”
The U.S. Patent Office eventually granted Apple’s patent in April 2014. The abstract of the patent reads:
Lock-out mechanisms for driver handheld computing devices. The lock-out mechanisms disable the ability of a handheld computing device to perform certain functions, such as texting, while one is driving. In one embodiment, a handheld computing device can provide a lock-out mechanism without requiring any modifications or additions to a vehicle by using a motion analyzer, a scenery analyzer and a lock-out mechanism. In other embodiments, the handheld computing device can provide a lock-out mechanism with modifications or additions to the vehicle, including the use of signals transmitted by the vehicle or by the vehicle key when engaged with the vehicle.
Wilhelm was on his way to visit his parents when he crashed into the rear of Modisettes’ Toyota. Both the girl and her father were seriously injured as they were flown to the hospital. The girl died after a little while.