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Google sued by family of a man who drowned while following Maps

Alicia Paxson and husband Philip

Google is being sued by the family of a man who drove off a collapsed bridge while following the tech-giant’s road map.

Philip Paxson drowned when his Jeep plunged 20ft into a river.


He was driving home along an unfamiliar route after going to his daughter’s ninth birthday.

The crash scene

His widow Alicia Paxson said:

“Our girls ask how and why their daddy died, and I’m at a loss for words they can understand.

“I still can’t understand how those responsible for the GPS directions and the bridge could have acted with so little regard for human life.”

Mr Paxson’s family alleges Google Maps directed him towards the bridge – despite it collapsing nine years ago.

The damaged bridge in Hickory, North Carolina had been reported to Google on several occasions.

In November 2020, Google confirmed it was looking into the change but the lawsuit alleges no action was taken.

The lawsuit also named several local property companies that it alleges handled the nearby land and the bridge.

Local police said there were no barriers or warning signs around the bridge at the time of the incident.

A Google spokesman said:

“We have the deepest sympathies for the Paxson family.

Our goal is to provide accurate routing information in Maps and we are reviewing this lawsuit.”



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