Romain Rouillard / Photo credit: NIKOLAS KOKOVLIS / NURPHOTO / NURPHOTO VIA AFP 20:00 pm, September 26, 2023

While returning home from his 9-year-old daughter's birthday party, Philip Paxson, a resident of North Carolina in the United States, killed himself in his vehicle following the route recommended by Google Maps. The navigation app had directed him to a collapsed bridge for several years.

After a fall of six meters in his Jeep Gladiator, Philip Paxson did not survive. This American, residing in North Carolina, died on September 30, 2022 after following the route suggested by Google Maps while returning from his daughter's birthday party. The navigation app had led him to a bridge that had collapsed nine years ago in the town of Hickory. On September 20, reports the Associated Press, his family decided to sue Google for "negligence".

"Our daughters ask how and why their dad died, and I can't find the words they can understand because, as an adult, I still can't understand," said his wife Alicia Paxson. In the complaint filed in Wake County Superior Court, the family of the deceased indicates that the American digital giant had indeed been informed of the collapse of the bridge in question by several people. The latter had urged Google to update its navigation system.

Google offers its "deepest condolences"

The emails, sent by several residents of Hickory to Google, as well as the company's acknowledgment of receipt, are among the documents provided by the prosecution. The complaint therefore seeks to prove that Google did not act accordingly even though it knew the situation. Google spokesman José Castañeda sent the company's "deepest condolences" to the Paxson family, also saying the complaint was currently being investigated.


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The North Carolina State Patrol said the company behind the bridge had been dissolved and the structure was not maintained by local officials or state agencies. No barrier or sign was present on the way to warn of any danger.