Update on that Apple/ FaceTime thread

things were made a bit clearer today.   The person filing the lawsuit, was NOT the person using FaceTime while driving.   The lawsuit is filed by the driver of the car that was hit.   Their daughter was killed in the crash.     The other driver was using the app while traveling 65 mph and plowed into the rear of the stationary car.    I'm sure I will have more but the original story made it seem as if the driver using FT was the one filing the lawsuit.

Sorry for the confusion folks.

11 Answers

Here is the story from this morning.

A Texas couple is suing Apple, claiming that its FaceTime app distracted a driver who rammed into the couple's car, killing their 5-year-old daughter.

Parents James and Bethany Modisette are suing Apple for damages on the basis that the electronics giant failed to install and implement a "safer, alternative design" for FaceTime that would have helped to prevent a driver from using the app while traveling at highway speed, court documents show.

The lawsuit filed Dec. 23 in California Superior Court in Santa Clara County also claims that Apple failed "to warn users that the product was likely to be dangerous when used or misused" or to instruct on its safe usage.

The fatal accident occurred Christmas Eve in 2014 near Dallas, when, according to the lawsuit, the Modisette family was driving in a Toyota Camry, with daughter Moriah, 5, in a booster seat in the left rear passenger seat and her sister, Isabella, next to her in the right rear seat.

The Modisettes had slowed or stopped their car due to police activity ahead of them on the highway that had caused traffic to back up, according to the suit.

Another driver, Garrett Wilhelm, traveling in his Toyota 4Runner in the same direction and behind the Modisette car, allegedly had his attention diverted by his use of the FaceTime app, the suit says.

"As a result of that distraction, his Toyota 4Runner, while traveling at full highway speed (65 mph), struck the Modisette family car from behind, causing it to be propelled forward, rotate, and come to a final rest at an angle facing the wrong direction in the right lane of traffic," the suit says.

Family Sues Apple, Claiming FaceTime Distracted …

Family Sues Apple, Claiming FaceTime Distracted Driver in Crash That Killed 5-Year-Old Daughter (ABC …

Wilhelm's car then "continued its trajectory by rolling up and over the driver's side of the Modisette car," the suit claims.

The crash caused extensive damage to the driver's side of the Modisettes' car, and rescue workers had to extract both the father and 5-year-old Moriah from the car, the suit says.

The father was in critical condition after the crash while the mother and daughter Isabella were taken to a regional medical center to be treated for injuries. Moriah was airlifted to the area children's hospital where she later died from her injuries, according to the suit.

"Wilhelm told police at the scene that he was using FaceTime on his iPhone at the time of the crash, and the police located his iPhone at the crash scene with the FaceTime application still active," the suit claims.

The Modisettes contend in their suit that, "At the time of the collision in question, the iPhone utilized by Wilhelm contained the necessary hardware (to be configured with software) to automatically disable or 'lock-out' the ability to use [FaceTime] ... However, Apple failed to configure the iPhone to automatically ‘lock-out’ the ability to utilize ‘FaceTime’ while driving at highway speeds, despite having the technical capability to do so.”

Wilhelm was indicted on manslaughter charges by a grand jury in Denton County, Texas, according to the Denton Record-Chronicle. He has been out of jail on bail since August, and a jury trial in the case is scheduled for Feb. 27, the Record-Chronicle reports.

Wilhelm’s lawyer, Ricky Perritt, issued the follow statement: "The Wilhelm family offers their thoughts and prayersfor the family of the young lady who lost her life in this tragic accident. We are confident that after all the facts are brought out in Court, it will be shown that the use of a cellular device did not contribute and Mr. Wilhelm did not commit a crime ... it was simply an accident."

In California it'll make through the courts. I saw on the news California is wanting to make it illegal to have a cell phone in your hand while driving.

Aaaaahhh, a new app. coming soon.

I wish people were held responsible for their actions... face time and driving is not only dangerous it is stupid!

When will people learn not to do this while driving.

Texas (or at least Laredo) already have the law.

It is completely ignored, as is the law requiring insurance and license.

Back in the old days before cell phones I had a co-worker that had a battery operated TV that he kept on the floor of the car so he could watch TV on his commute........ could somebody have sued the TV channel or manufacturer of the TV if he had an auto accident and hit them ?

I think going after Apple is stupid...... but they have the deep pockets. Locking you out of apps when your going 65 MPH....what if your not the driver in a car doing 65 ? What about kids playing games on mom's phone to keep the kids quiet ?

CA has the hands free law, you have to use a headset in the car wireless or ear buds.

We have a law in our provinces that has a huge fine for using or even holding a cell phone while driving. You can use a cell phone if it's hands free like with a headset, earbuds or blue tooth. People still drive and text, which goes to prove that you just can't fix stupid!

The updated story doesn't really change my mind.

The other driver, and the other driver alone, were to blame.

I wrote the update because, in all honesty, I thought the driver with the family, was the one using his phone. The first story, to me anyway wasn't clear as to who was using FT and suing Apple. I kinda thought the driver that was using the app, was the one suing Apple. That got cleared up in the update. Problem here is, this is what gun manufacturers face. Why are they responsible for how their product is used ( or misused )? . You lock out the app so no one can call you on FT. I wonder if anyone even thought a driver would be stupid enough to use FT while driving. And, as stated, anyone else in a car should be able to use it. Years ago, in NJ, it was illegal to drive with Walkman type headphones on. Now, I still see people holding their phones while driving. In some states you can be pulled over just for that. Others cite you only if you are pulled over for something else. Why isn't the driver being sued ? Oh wait, I know, because he has nothing. Apple on the other hand........Sad part is, the driver, will probably do it again. Stupid is stupid. I'm pretty sure there was a caveman somewhere that used the wrong side of the club to hunt. He died of starvation.

Simple cure for this case:

Jail the driver using facetime for life for voluntary manslaughter Have the victims file against the other driver's insurance. If none were carried, then file against their own (surely they carry the "Uninsured Drivers" rider?)

Regardless, no amount of money will be able to restore them.


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