No Eyes (or Common Sense) Needed with Google Maps

Posted: Jul 14, 2010 12:02 PM
Guest post from Bryan Quigley, U.S. Chamber Institute for Legal Reform

For the past decade, millions of travelers have relied on services like Google Maps and GPS navigation systems to direct them to their destinations quickly and with little hassle.  While all of us have been annoyed by the occasionally convoluted directions from online maps or the car GPS system that never shuts up, we’ve learned to overlook these relatively small nuisances in favor of the broad benefits provided by these services.

But one woman traveling in Park City, Utah decided that directions from Google Maps should substitute for her eyes and good judgment. Now, she’s suing Google for more than $100,000 after she was hit by a car while crossing a busy road as (she alleges) was instructed by her Google Maps walking directions.

By her lawsuit’s logic, Google should be responsible if its directions tell motorists to turn on to the wrong way of a one-way street. Or drive into a lake. Or jump off of a building. And even though Google Maps posts a disclaimer to warn pedestrians of the well-known fact that some roads might not have sidewalks or pedestrian paths, she’s still suing.

This lawsuit is one of the contenders for this month’s Most Ridiculous Lawsuit Poll. Here are the others:
•  A career criminal charged with manslaughter after a high-speed police chase sues the state police for pursuing him

•  A woman sues her former employer, claiming she was fired for being too attractive

•  A college graduate sues her dad for violating an agreement to pay her college costs

•  A prison inmate who attempted suicide sues the prison for giving him a razor
Go to and cast your vote today. And while you're at it, check out last month's Most Ridiculous Lawsuit winner: the teacher with rabbit phobia who sued a student for drawing one on the blackboard.