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Google Maps Failed to Show Fallen Bridge


The family of a US man who drowned after driving off a collapsed bridge are claiming that he died because Google failed to update its maps.



Philip Paxson's family are suing the company over his death, alleging that Google negligently failed to show the bridge had fallen nine years earlier.


Mr Paxson died in September 2022 after attempting to drive over the damaged bridge in Hickory, North Carolina.


A spokesperson for Google said the company was reviewing the allegations.


The case was filed in civil court in Wake County on Tuesday.


Philip Paxson, a medical device salesman and father of two, drowned Sept. 30, 2022, after his Jeep Gladiator plunged into Snow Creek in Hickory, according to a lawsuit filed Tuesday in Wake County Superior Court. Paxson was driving home from his daughter’s ninth birthday party through an unfamiliar neighborhood when Google Maps allegedly directed him to cross a bridge that had collapsed nine years prior and was never repaired.


“Our girls ask how and why their daddy died, and I’m at a loss for words they can understand because, as an adult, 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,”

his wife, Alicia Paxson, said.


The road is private road. In North Carolina, according to the station, the state maintains state-owned roads, but counties do not maintain public or private roads.


"For nine years, the community of Hickory was needlessly and senselessly placed at risk, when a road-bridge collapsed in 2013, and when one of the largest companies in the world refused to correct its mapping algorithms despite repeated pleas,"

Saltz Mongeluzzi Bendesky attorney Robert Zimmerman said.


"For years before this tragedy, Hickory residents asked for the road to be fixed or properly barricaded before someone was hurt or killed. Their demands went unanswered."

The Paxson family is seeking an unspecified amount of compensatory and punitive damages following her husband's death. She's asked for a jury trial in the case.

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