The parents of five-year-old Moriah Modisette, who was killed December 24th, 2014, have decided to sue the technology giant Apple, Inc. The company, popularly known for
creating iPhones, iPads, and iMac computers, has not responded to the claim made by James and Bethany Modisette stating that the iPhone-equipped application “FaceTime” directly caused an accident to occur.
A Distracted Driver
The accident took place on Christmas Eve when the Modisettes were driving on the heavily trafficked highway, Interstate 35, going northbound in Dallas, just east of Fort Worth. The Modisettes, who were driving a Toyota Camry, was forced to slow down due to traffic, when all of a sudden an SUV travelling at a speed of 65 miles per hour struck the passenger car.
The SUV, whose driver was twenty-two year-old Garret Wilhelm, rolled unto the driver’s side of the Toyota Camry. Both James Modisette and his daughter, Moriah, were left in critical conditions as a result of the accident. Moriah was taken to nearby Cook Children’s Medical Center in Fort Worth. Moriah died due to her injuries. The three surviving family members in the vehicle, James, Bethany, and Isabella - Moriah’s eight-year-old sister - were rushed by emergency services to Denton Regional Medical Center.
Wilhelm, the driver of the Toyota 4Runner SUV that crashed onto the Modisettes, was also taken to Denton Regional Medical Center. Wilhelm was on a FaceTime phone call, which caused him to be distracted while driving. Officers found the FaceTime application still active when authorities arrived to the accident scene. Wilhem is facing a manslaughter charge from the police.
The parents of Moriah Modisette decided to sue Apple for negligence. More specifically, the family claims, according to documents filed in the Santa Clara County’s Superior Court, states that Apple failed to implement a patent that was approved in 2014 for a technology that would prevent iPhone users from using the FaceTime application while driving, due to a speed-detection technology incorporated in the phone’s GPS system. The lawsuit, which was filed on December 23rd, states that Apple neither placed the technology in use nor warned potential drivers from using the application while conducting their vehicles.
Apple has not responded to neither the lawsuit or the claim that the family has brought forward. The Modisettes are seeking monetary damages for the incident.
Technology: How Far Will It Go?
Many scientists, modernists, and technologist have argued in favor of technology, stating that the implementation and easy-of-access facilitate people’s lives. However, what happens when the very technology that is used to benefit the lives of people affects, either directly or inadvertently, the lives of people? Or worse, what happens if the technology has contributed to the death of a child? These questions must be asked and answered if people want to live in a world where technology serves as both a tool and a threat to human existence. Is there a greater willingness for people to use technology responsibly versus using it in situations where the use of technology can bring fatal consequences? While technology is a tool - without a doubt -it can also be a threat that must be dealt with. The final question is: how far will humans get until technology must be regulated because of negligence?