Tennessee drivers may eventually be unable to text or use apps on their iPhones while they are driving if a class action lawsuit against Apple is successful. However, the lawsuit, which was filed in California, is currently only asking for remedies in that state. The plaintiffs want Apple to be required to place a safety lock feature on all phones sold in the state. Apple received a patent for the lock in 2014 and has had the technology since 2008 but has not yet installed it.
In this case, the lead plaintiff was hit by another driver using an iPhone. In a separate case filed weeks earlier, a 5-year-old girl was killed after her family’s car was hit by a driver who was on Facetime. Cellphones have significantly increased the incidence of distracted driving, and according to the National Safety Council, more than a quarter of accidents happen because of texting and driving. Texting and driving may cause more than 50,000 accidents each year in California.
The practice is illegal in most states, including California, but people often do not admit after an accident that they were texting and driving, and it can be difficult for police to see whether someone is doing so. If this is case is successful, plaintiffs have to demonstrate that Apple was aware of the potential harm of not including the safety feature.
A person who is injured in a car wreck might be able to file a lawsuit against an individual, company or organization if negligence was the cause. While in some cases a person may file a civil suit against another driver, as this lawsuit demonstrates, it could also be against a company. An attorney can often pinpoint the parties that should be held financially responsible for a plaintiff’s losses.