Apple Gets Sued: 5-Year-Old Died Because Driver Was Using FaceTime

Cellphone use while driving can cost lives. Photo Credit: Twitter/TheOnion

Apple gets sued by a Texas couple. Parents James and Bethany Modisette claimed that a driver using Apple’s FaceTime app got preoccupied and crashed into the couple’s car.  The untoward incident killed their 5-year old daughter. The Modisettes filed a case against Apple for damages.  In a court document, the couple claimed that the tech giant missed out to install and implement a ‘safer, alternative design’.  The parents believe that an alternative design for FaceTime could have helped prevent a driver from using the app while cruising at highway speed.

The grieving couple filed the lawsuit on December 23 in California Superior Court in Santa Clara County.  The court case also includes Apple’s failure in warning users that the app is dangerous when used or misused.  Instructions on the application’s safe usage should be provided, too.

ABC news reported that the accident happened on Christmas Eve in 2014 near Dallas.  The Modisette family drove a Toyota Camry.  Their 5-year old daughter Moriah was sitting in a booster seat in the left rear passenger seat.  Her sister Isabella was in the right rear seat.  The family vehicle slowed down due to a police activity on the highway.

Distraction caused by FaceTime killed Moriah

Garrette Wilhelm, driving a Toyota 4Runner behind the Modisette’s car, was using his FaceTime app.  Because of this, he got distracted.  Then, he crashed into the family vehicle from behind.  Wilhelm was driving at full highway speed of 65 mph.  The Modisettes’ Toyota Camry went forward and rotated.  It came to a halt, facing the wrong direction in the right lane of traffic, stated the lawsuit.
The Toyota 4Runner caused fatal damages to the driver’s side of the Toyota Camry.  Respondents, to the emergency, had to extract both the father and 5-year-old Moriah from the car.  The car crash left the father in critical condition.  The mother and daughter Isabella were also treated for injuries at a nearby regional medical center.

According to First Post, the driver confessed that he was on FaceTime.  Police confirmed that the app was still live as they arrived on the scene.  As a result, the grieving family sought economic damages and penal damages.  Though the incident happened two years ago, the family still grieves for their loss.  A death that could have been prevented.  If only Wilhelm was not on his phone while he was driving. Apple is yet to respond to the lawsuit.

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About the author

An avid reader, traveler, and earth enthusiast, Rubelle has two permanent roles: a daughter and a wife. But she wants to be a mother too. For the meantime, she works for Red Cross and writes articles for Morning Ledger to keep her busy.