A Georgia man is suing Snapchat for the app’s role in causing a violent crash. The suit* has been filed by Wentworth Maynard, a former driver for Uber, claiming that Snapchat was the “critical cause” of the crash, attributing it to a Snapchat filter that encourages its users to show the speed of their cars. In fact, the app provides incentives to users who post pictures showing excessive speed. The crash tragically left Maynard with permanent brain damage, according to the lawsuit.
First and foremost, we hope that Mr. Maynard has a speedy recovery. Brain injuries are one of the many potential consequences in a car or truck accident. You can learn more about brain injuries caused by a crash by reviewing this.
A brain injury can be devastating to a victim and the injury impacts the victim’s loved ones as well. For an example of a few lawsuits where victims sustained a brain injury, you may want to read these:
- $32,756,156 for Injured Vietnam Vet
- $8,800,000 Settlement For Victim in Queens Pedestrian Accident Who Suffered a Brain Injury
How did this accident happen? The claim is that Maynard and his wife were merging onto a highway when another vehicle struck them. The other vehicle was driven by Christal McGee, according to legal papers filed with the court. McGee was in a car with three passengers and was recklessly driving down the road at more than 100 mph. Defying all common sense, McGee was snapping “selfies” with Snapchat’s speed filter as she unknowingly was about to alter the course of a helpless victim’s life. The suit alleges that McGee’s car was driving at 107 mph when it struck Maynard’s vehicle. According to the suit, McGee continued taken shots even after the initial impact. McGee’s depraved conduct makes her an obvious candidate for a jury to slam with their verdict. But here, the plaintiff wants Snapchat to be held accountable as well.
How does this suit shake out? Well, some of the legal concepts may prove interesting. Maynard’s attorneys are qualifying the suit against Snapchat as a products liability case, claiming that Snapchat knowingly put a dangerous product on the market without giving consumers the appropriate safeguards and warnings.
Typically, failure to warn cases stem from a product where the dangers are not obvious. One obstacle in the suit will be the common sense argument that any reasonable person has to recognize the dangers associated with driving an excessive speed while posing for and taking a photograph. Undoubtedly, Maynard will also allege that Snapchat knew that this product would lead to the potential for violent collisions and that they should be held responsible for the foreseeable consequences. In other words, they will seek to prove that this Snapchat filter was inherently dangerous. Snapchat will fire back that the driver is the sole entity that should be held responsible. It was her decision to drive 107 mph and recklessly use her phone at the time, they will argue, thus eliminating their legal role in the crash. They may also point to a legal disclaimer that warns consumers not to snap and drive. But what good is that disclaimer, particularly when the basis of the app is to memorialize the speed that your car is traveling by taking a photograph?
The case will play out in a courtroom in Georgia but folks in the legal community all across the country will be paying close attention.
Block O’Toole & Murphy is a law firm that is recognized for its success in fighting for the underdog. They have taken on large insurance companies and corporations on behalf of their injured clients and won. Learn more about the firm and their courtroom victories, including nearly one billion dollars in verdicts and settlements by calling them now at 212-736-5300.