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Woman Sues Google For Injuries

June 2, 2010

A woman who was struck by a car while walking along a route she followed after checking Google’s online mapping tool is suing the Internet giant for not recommending a safer direction.

Lauren Rosenberg of Los Angeles used Google Maps on her BlackBerry smartphone to chart a nearly two-mile course in Park City, Utah.

Rosenberg is asking a US District Court to order Google to pay her more than $100,000 for injuries and emotional suffering caused by the accident on January 19, 2009.

The path Google Maps laid out included a stretch of Deer Valley Drive — a local highway — which lacked sidewalks and had cars flying by at unsafe speeds, according to court documents.

“Google failed to warn (Rosenberg) of said known dangers and instead instructed her to use that dangerous path,” attorney Allen Young said in a copy of the lawsuit posted online by Search Engine Land editor Danny Sullivan.

Global news agency AFP checked Google Maps on Tuesday using a personal computer and found the site provided a choice of two routes, one that essentially avoided walking along the highway, with a warning that sidewalks might be missing.

News of the suit has prompted online discussions regarding the degree to which pedestrians are responsible for watching out for their own safety when it comes to walking on highways and other roads without sidewalks.

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