Google Faces Lawsuit Over Alleged Failure to Update Maps Leading to Tragic Accident


Wake County, North Carolina - The family of Philip Paxson, a US man who tragically lost his life in September 2022 after driving off a collapsed bridge, is pursuing legal action against Google, contending that the tech giant's failure to update its maps contributed to the incident.

The lawsuit, filed in civil court in Wake County, alleges that Google neglected to indicate that the bridge had collapsed almost a decade prior, ultimately leading to Mr. Paxson's untimely demise in Hickory, North Carolina.

A spokesperson for Google confirmed that the company is currently reviewing the allegations.

According to the family's lawsuit, Mr. Paxson, a devoted father of two, was en route home from his daughter's ninth birthday celebration at a friend's residence. At the time of the accident, he was navigating an unfamiliar neighborhood, as his wife had earlier driven their daughters home, leaving him behind to assist with clean-up.

"Unfamiliar with local roads, he relied on Google Maps, expecting it would safely direct him home to his wife and daughters," stated the family's lawyers in a press release announcing the lawsuit. "Tragically, as he drove cautiously in the darkness and rain, he unsuspectingly followed Google's outdated directions to what his family later learned for nearly a decade was called the 'Bridge to Nowhere,' crashing into Snow Creek, where he drowned."

The lawsuit asserts that local residents had made repeated attempts to inform Google of the bridge's collapse in 2013, yet the online maps remained unchanged. The suit further alleges that barriers which were typically placed at the bridge entrance were absent due to vandalism, as reported by the Charlotte Observer.

In addition to Google, the lawsuit targets three local companies, contending that they bore a responsibility to maintain the bridge.

Alicia Paxson, Mr. Paxson's wife, expressed her grief in a statement, saying, "Our girls ask how and why their daddy died, and I'm at a loss for words they can understand because, as an adult, I still can't understand how those responsible for the GPS directions and the bridge could have acted with so little regard for human life."

A spokesperson for Google conveyed their deepest sympathies for the Paxson family, affirming, "Our goal is to provide accurate routing information in Maps and we are reviewing this lawsuit."