Just in case you were unsure if common sense were dead or just on life support, a story in the NY Daily News confirms the worst: common sense is dead. Lauren Rosenberg is suing Google, alleging that their Google Maps application for mobile devices did not contain a warning on walking routes. Rosenberg was struck by a car and injured while walking between two addresses, some three miles apart, in Park City, Utah. The reason? Google Maps didn’t warn Rosenberg that the route lacked sidewalks, forcing her to walk on a state highway.
Her lawsuit, filed in Park County district court, claims that, “As a direct and proximate cause of Defendant Google’s careless, reckless and negligent providing of unsafe directions, Plaintiff Lauren Rosenberg was led onto a dangerous highway, and was thereby stricken by a motor vehicle, causing her to suffer severe permanent physical, emotional and mental injuries.” You can probably guess the rest, but I’ll save you the trouble: Rosenberg is suing for medical expenses and (of course) punitive damages. Since Rosenberg clearly believes in sharing the love, she’s suing the driver of the car that hit her as well as Google.
Sweet bleeding Jesus, people, have we really sunk to this new level of stupidity? Do we need disclaimers on everything? I’d figured out it was dangerous to walk on the side of a highway by the time I was five years old, and it didn’t take getting struck by a car to teach me that lesson. Could it be that Rosenberg is just another opportunistic litigant who sees this as her golden ticket to new found wealth? Nah, let’s not be ridiculous. After all, she is the victim here.
The really sad part? Google will either lose this or settle out of court. Why? Because the full version of Google Maps contains the disclaimer for walking directions, but the mobile application does not.
What does it mean for the rest of us? More useless disclaimers that we shouldn’t walk on highways, or use high voltage lines to practice tightrope walking, or drink gasoline, I suppose. Does anyone realize how stupid we Americans look to the rest of the world when we tolerate frivolous lawsuits like this?