A lawsuit filed this week states that a North Carolina woman is taking legal action against Google after her husband tragically lost his life driving off a collapsed bridge while following GPS directions.
According to the suit filed on Tuesday in Wake County, Philip Paxson passed away on the night of September 30, 2022, after driving off an unmarked and unbarricaded bridge collapse in Hickory. Alicia Paxson, his widow, asserts that her husband was unaware of the bridge’s condition and was relying on outdated GPS directions from Google.
The lawsuit, which cites negligence, is seeking a jury trial and does not specify a specific amount for damages. The defendants named in the suit include Alphabet, the parent company of Google, as well as three individuals who either own or have control over the land where the bridge, located on 24th Street Place NE, is situated.
The lawsuit contends that a substantial portion of the bridge, known as the Snow Creek Bridge, collapsed in 2013 and was never repaired. Google Maps directed Paxson to take this route on a rainy night as he was returning home from his 9-year-old daughter’s birthday party, a journey that ended in tragedy.
At the time, he was the sole occupant in a Jeep Gladiator, and his wife had taken their two daughters home in a separate vehicle after the party. The lawsuit further alleges that a woman had previously informed Google about the bridge being impassable. In 2020, this individual utilized the “suggest an edit” feature twice and received an email response stating that the matter was under review.