The parents of a five-year-old girl who was killed after a driver using FaceTime hit their family’s vehicle are suing Apple, saying the tech firm is liable for not implementing technology to prevent the app’s use while driving.
According to Apple Insider, the parents, James and Bethany Modisette, say Apple’s “failure to install and implement” a patented ability to “‘lock out’ the ability of drivers to utilize the FaceTime application on the Apple iPhone when driving a motor vehicle” makes the iPhone maker liable.
The fatal collision occurred Dec. 24, 2014 in Texas, when a 20-year-old man rear-ended the Modisette’s vehicle at 65 miles per hour while he was on a FaceTime call on his iPhone 6 Plus. Both the parents and five-year-old Moriah were injured, but the child succumbed to her injuries in hospital.
The lawsuit says the drivers actions were “inextricably intertwined” with Apple’s failure to implement its patented lockout feature, a decision that the filing calls a breach of “duty of care to plaintiffs.”
Apple, the filing goes on to say, has had the ability to implement lockout technology since 2008 but has “continuously failed to implement a safer, alternative design that would lock-out and prevent use of FaceTime while driving.”
The lawsuit does not demand Apple implement the technology, however. Instead, it seeks damages, medical expenses and any other remuneration “the court sees fit.”