Apple Found Not Responsible in Fatal Car Crash Involving Distracted Driver Using FaceTime

Discussion in 'MacRumors.com News Discussion' started by MacRumors, Dec 17, 2018.

  1. MacRumors macrumors bot

    MacRumors

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    Back in 2014, iPhone user Garrett Wilhelm was using FaceTime on his iPhone 6 Plus while driving, causing him to crash into the back of another vehicle.

    The crash resulted in the death of five-year-old Moriah Modisette, and her father, James Modisette, launched a lawsuit in 2017 against Apple for not offering safety warnings or a feature that disables FaceTime while a person is driving.

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    The lawsuit contended that Apple had, at the time, patented technology that would have prevented FaceTime from being used while a vehicle is being operated, but had not installed it in the iPhone 6. The plaintiffs requested damages from Apple for its "wrongful failure to install and implement the safer, alternative design for which it sought a patent in December 2008."
    The lawsuit against Apple was dismissed after a court decided that Apple was not at fault for the crash, and as of today, a California appeals court has agreed with that decision.

    According to the BBC, the appeals court ruled Apple "did not owe the Modisettes a duty of care," and that it was not up to Apple to take responsibility for the actions of individuals using its apps. The family, said the court, could not establish that the design of the iPhone was the cause of the injuries suffered.

    Garrett Wilhelm, the driver of the vehicle who killed the girl, was indicted on manslaughter charges. His trial has been delayed several times because the FHI has not yet been able to gather data from his iPhone, but if he is found guilty, he could serve up to 20 years in prison. Wilhelm is set to be tried before a jury on June 3, 2019.

    While Apple was not found to be responsible for the crash, the Cupertino company has since implemented a Do Not Disturb While Driving feature designed to prevent iPhone users from accessing apps like FaceTime while operating a vehicle.


    Do Not Disturb While Driving was implemented in iOS 11 and it is designed to block incoming messages and phone calls if a phone is not connected to a car via Bluetooth.

    Article Link: Apple Found Not Responsible in Fatal Car Crash Involving Distracted Driver Using FaceTime
     
  2. WannaGoMac macrumors 68020

    WannaGoMac

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  3. dannyyankou macrumors 604

    dannyyankou

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    #3
    Good, they shouldn't be held liable. What's next, holding HarperCollins liable for someone reading a book at the wheel?
     
  4. CerebralX macrumors 6502

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    Imagine being so deluded that you feel suing a company, who's software was being used by a distracted person, was responsible for the distracted person being distracted.
     
  5. yaxomoxay macrumors 68030

    yaxomoxay

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    I guess that some lawyers prefer making money over the concept of personal accountability.
     
  6. gugy macrumors 68030

    gugy

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    Personal responsibility.

    It's lacking big time these days.
     
  7. Moakesy macrumors regular

    Moakesy

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    #7
    If I were the family of those that died, I would truly despise the person who not only killed people I love, but then filed that lawsuit.

    I cannot comprehend the pain that must have caused.
     
  8. NightFox macrumors 68020

    NightFox

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    #8
    Imagine losing your 5 year old child.
     
  9. AngerDanger macrumors 68040

    AngerDanger

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    #9
    Skype also offers no such safety warnings. YouTube doesn’t either. Analog portable TVs never came with a warning.

    Why on earth would you need someone else to tell you that you can’t look at a video when you’re supposed to be looking elsewhere?!
     
  10. jem101 macrumors newbie

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    #10
    Well according to the article it was the father of the girl who was killed who filed the lawsuit not the driver of the car which ran into the back of them
     
  11. NightFox macrumors 68020

    NightFox

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    It was the father of the child who filed the lawsuit, not the accused.
     
  12. yaxomoxay macrumors 68030

    yaxomoxay

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    Awful, but that doesn't make suing Apple (in this case) better in any way whatsoever.
     
  13. I7guy macrumors P6

    I7guy

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    It’s a tragedy. But don’t try to pass the blame for someone else’s irresponsible actions.
     
  14. ChinaRye macrumors 6502

    ChinaRye

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    Seems right. Can't see how Apple is negligent in this regard. Autonomous cars can't get here fast enough. Morons like this should not be operating a two ton motorized vehicles.
     
  15. rafark macrumors 6502a

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    of course it wasn't. It was the user's fault. Do you blame your car company when you crash?
     
  16. jav6454 macrumors P6

    jav6454

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    #16
    Apple was not driving. There are Text and drive laws that are there to prevent distracted driving. The same can be said about FaceTime and driving or having a conversation on your phone while driving.

    Heck, a phone call counts for distracted driving and can be the difference between being at fault or not if proven in court. Should Nokia, Motorola or Ericsson (given they popularized the cellphone) be held liable and pay the families of victims from reckless driving due to text and/or talk distractions while on some else the wheel caused a collision? Same here.
     
  17. GFLPraxis macrumors 604

    GFLPraxis

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    It is literally impossible for the device to determine if the driver or passenger is using the phone while the car is in motion. It's nonsensical to blame it on the phone.

    The only thing Apple can do is change the device in a manner that makes it impossible for anyone in a moving vehicle to operate a phone.
     
  18. centauratlas macrumors 6502a

    centauratlas

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    One sees it all over, blaming an inanimate object for the actions of the person who was using that object. It is like Rosie O'Donnell and Michael Moore blaming the forks for their size.

    How would Apple determine if it was a passenger using FaceTime or the driver? FaceTime can be useful for the passengers. It sounds as if they were filing a strike suit.
     
  19. killawat macrumors 65816

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    I don't understand people who FaceTime while driving. Seems silly.
     
  20. adamjackson macrumors 68000

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    Tragic situation but a precedent is being set here that humans need to be responsible for their actions, not the mobile phone company for putting the human in a playpen to keep them from killing people.
     
  21. jav6454 macrumors P6

    jav6454

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    Or blaming Blue Bonnet for heart attacks due to excess butter consumption.
     
  22. NightFox macrumors 68020

    NightFox

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    #22
    My point was that even if the OP considered the person who brought the case to be "deluded", then maybe there was good reason for his state of mind. I'm not saying I agree with the father, just I can guess at his motivation.
     
  23. Dave-Z macrumors 6502a

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    Not Apple's fault, obviously. But I cannot imagine the grief the father is experiencing, so I hold no judgment on his choice to at least try.

    Twenty years for manslaughter... The accused gets a better opportunity to live than that child ever got.
     
  24. Hodar1 macrumors member

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    Probably because Apple has deeper pockets, than the idiot who actually committed the act. Go after the person responsible - it's called "Personal Responsibility".
     
  25. groadyho Suspended

    groadyho

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    #25
    Just a brief counter argument here, but our car disables some functions on its entertainment/GPS/phone/messaging/ai assistant unit, or whatever you want to call it . This means some services cant be used while driving for those that feel the need to. A day might come where facetime/video calls might be disabled automatically when your vehicle is started.
     

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