Pennsylvania residents may find it interesting to learn that about 11 Pennsylvania residents have filed a personal lawsuit against at least two well-known GPS manufacturers, and are seeking over $15 million is damages that resulted from an accident. The wreck occurred nearly two years ago when a charter bus with mostly high school student and their guardians collided into an overpass. Some suffered serious injuries such as spinal cord injuries and paralysis.
The class action lawsuit alleges that the GPS manufacturers sold units without issuing warnings about their use on commercial vehicles, such as charter buses. Generally, due to their height, commercial vehicles are prohibited on certain roadways. Additionally, the use of GPS devices can also lead to distracted driving that may cause accidents. In fact, in this particular case, about 35 people were injured when the driver of the charter bus crashed into a 10 feet high overpass.
Allegedly, the driver of the charter bus was following instructions on the GPS and the device took him on a route where the 11 foot high bus had to clear a 10 feet overpass. The GPS model the driver was using did not give any warning to the vehicle operator about bridge height restrictions. Though warning signs were posted about the height restriction, one was obstructed from view due to construction activity and the other was either missing or damaged.
As a result of the collision into the overpass, the roof of the bus was damaged, causing the luggage stowaway and TV monitors to detach, fall on, and injure passengers. Though the driver of the bus was acquitted of criminal charges, the court found him civilly liable for not obeying road signs and driving on a restricted roadway. In addition to the two GPS manufacturers, the lawsuit also names the manufacturer of the charter bus and the Department of Conservation and Recreation responsible for maintaining the sign on the roadway as defendants. At least two high school students who suffered spinal cord injuries will likely have on-going medical expenses stemming from this accident.
Source: The Boston Globe, “Lawsuit targets GPS devices,” Laura Crimaldi, Feb. 8, 2015