FaceTiming driver caused fatal accident, lawsuit charges

Family sues Apple over the death of their five-year-old daughter

A California family blames Apple for the death of their young daughter in a traffic accident that a lawsuit says was caused by a driver who was using FaceTime on his iPhone 6.

James and Bethany Modisette were driving with their two daughters on I-35 just north of Dallas two years ago when traffic slowed suddenly and a driver who admitted he was on FaceTime plowed into them. James and his daughter, Moriah, 5, were trapped in the car. Moriah later died of her injuries.

The lawsuit claims Apple is responsible for Moriah's death because of its failure to use an alternative FaceTime design which it had already patented. The alternative design "locks out" drivers in a moving vehicle and could have prevented the accident, the suit argues, according to a Courthouse News Service report

“Defendant Apple Inc. has had the technology to prevent these events, and the Modisettes’ injuries, specifically since at least Dec. 12, 2008, when it filed an application with the U.S. Patent Office for a ‘driver handheld computing device lock-out,” the family says in the complaint.

Specifically, the family says Apple possessed the capability to use GPS tracking to gauge the speed of a vehicle in which a user was traveling and shut down FaceTime, but that its failure to include this technology was a significant factor in the crash that injured the Modisette family.

The suit was filed in Santa Clara County Superior Court last Friday. 

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