Written by Peter CarterJanuary 10, 2017
A family is suing Apple following an accident in which a male driver collided with their car, killing their 5 year old daughter, while he was using FaceTime on his iPhone.
James and Bethany Modisette were driving along a highway in Texas on Christmas eve in 2014 with their two daughters when they came upon a road blockage, caused by police activity, which forced them to stop.
Garrett Wilhelm was driving behind them but failed to stop, slamming his SUV into the back of the family camry at 105km/hr literally tearing the car apart and driving over the top of it.
Bethany and their eldest daughter, Isabella sustained injuries but managed to escape the car, however, James and their younger daughter, Moriah, had to be extracted by rescue workers.
Moriah was strapped into a booster seat at the time of the crash, however this was not enough to save her. She was flown to a nearby hospital but died.
The Modisette family allege that Wilhelm’s phone was still running the FaceTime App when police recovered it from the crash. Wilhelm was charged with manslaughter, but the Modisette family also hold Apple partially responsible.
The family claims that the fact that Apple had patented a method of preventing the distracting app being used while the phone is within a moving vehicle proves that Apple knew that the app was potentially dangerous. However, they failed to implement the safety feature, with the family stating that the technology was “a substantial factor in causing” the family’s injuries and Moriah’s death.
The complaint was filed on December 23. Apple was yet to respond to the lawsuit.