As I drive down the road, I frequently see drivers texting—even on the freeway. If the driver gets in a car accident because he is texting we know that the driver is legally liable for the accident. But what is the role of the phone manufacturer? Should the phone manufacturer be held liable for accidents caused by texting drivers, when they have the technology to prevent such conduct? That is the question being raised in a Texas lawsuit.
According to the products liability lawsuit, Ashley Kubiak was speeding down a Texas highway while texting. She then drove her Dodge Ram truck into a SUV, killing two people and paralyzing a child. The families of the victims have filed a wrongful death lawsuit against Apple claiming that the phone manufacturer has a legal duty to prevent texting while driving and it possesses the technology to do so.
Apple received a patent in 2014 for a lock out mechanism for its phones. The patent application recognized the ever growing problem of people driving and texting. According to the patent, the invention can disable all distracting features of the phone, such as texting while someone is operating a motor vehicle.