Parents sue Apple for not disabling FaceTime on iPhone while driving killing daughter

Moriah Modisette was killed by a 20 year-old driver who was driving 65 mph and using Face Time. She was safely buckled in a booster seat in the back seat.

In a lawsuit filed in Cupertino, a family blames Apple for not disabling FaceTime while a driving causing a fatal accident. A 20 year-old driver  rear-ended a family injuring some and killing their 5-year-old daughter Moriah. Parents, James and Bethany Modisette are plaintiffs in the lawsuit.

The accident happened on Christmas Eve in 2014.

“Plaintiffs allege Apple Inc.’s failure to design, manufacture, and sell the Apple iPhone 6 Plus with the patented, safer, alternative design technology already available to it that would automatically lock-out or block users from utilizing Apple Inc.’s FaceTime appication while driving a motor vehicle at highway speed, and failure to warn users that the product was likely to be dangerous when used or misused in a reasonably foreseeable manner and/or instruct on the safe usage of this and similar applications, rendered the Apple iPhone 6 defective when it left defendant Apple Inc.’s possession, and were a substantial factor in causing plaintiff’s injuries and decedent’s death.” the lawsuit states.

Garrett Wilhelm, (20 at the time of crash admitted to using FaceTime on an iPhone 6 and did not notice slowing traffic and rear-ended the family’s Camry at 65 mph injuring Isabella, 8 as well as the parents.

Police located his iPhone at the crash scene with the Facetime application still active, reports the lawsuit.

Studies have shown that teen and young drivers know not text and drive but will use apps while driving.

Although teens say they think using apps while driving is dangerous, tests show that they truly think that it is not distracting.

“Phone use while driving is one of the most concerning behaviors by inexperienced teen drivers. Any behavior that takes your eyes and focus off the road, even for mere seconds, can impair your ability to react to hazards and other vehicles,” said Dr. William Horrey, Ph.D., principal research scientist at the Liberty Mutual Insurance Research Institute for Safety. “It’s not the apps themselves that are dangerous, but how we, and our teens, interact with them while behind the wheel.”

According to research conducted by Liberty Mutual Insurance and SADD (Students Against Destructive Decisions), while 27 percent of teens today still report texting and driving, a bigger concern is that two out of three teens (68 percent) admit to using apps while driving. In fact, when asked to rank the driving behaviors they perceived to be most dangerous, looking at or posting to social media apps ranked much lower as compared to texting and driving or driving under the influence of alcohol, for example.