According to the Legal Examiner, a complaint has been filed against GPS makers Garmin and TomTom in relation to a bus crash that left 35 hospitalized, ten injured and one teenage boy paralyzed. The bus driver was also named in the complaint as well as the company he worked for and the commonwealth of Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation.
From what I can gather, the crash happened in February 2013 in Boston. The driver, Samel J. Jackson was driving students from Philadelphia to Boston when the bus crashed into the Western Avenue Bridge on Soldier’s Field Road. Allegedly, the driver was looking at his GPS at the time of crash and failed to see the road signs that indicated the bus exceeded the height restrictions of the bridge.
I couldn’t get my hands on the actual complaint, unfortunately, but several different articles claim that the suit alleges that the GPS manufacturers were a ‘critical part of the accident’ as the GPS unit that the bus was using was not for commercial use and therefore did not direct the bus around the low bridge. The plaintiffs argued that the packaging of the GPS device should have indicated it was not appropriate for charter bus use, and therefore the GPS makers are partially at fault. The complaint was filed by 11 people, and the claim asks for $15 million in damages.
This is far from the first time that a GPS company has been sued for bridge collisions, and in 2012, Bloomberg reported that truckers hit bridges in New York more than 200 times due to GPS routing.
What do you think? Are the GPS companies at fault, or the bus drivers? Or both? Let me know in the comments!