Another lawsuit has been filed against Apple for iPhone use while driving. MLG Automotive Law has filed a class action lawsuit against technology giant Apple Inc., seeking to enjoin the company from selling further iPhones until it installs texting and driving safeguards. The lawsuit, Julio Ceja v. Apple Inc. (Case No. BC647057), was filed Tuesday in Los Angeles County Superior Court.
Texting and driving has become a prolific problem in the U.S., as consumers demand constant connectivity. Data from the U.S. Department of Transportation shows that at any given moment, 1.5 million people are texting and driving on public roads. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration classifies texting and driving as six times more dangerous than drinking and driving.
The lawsuit alleges that Apple puts profit before consumer safety. According to the filing, the company has had the technology to prevent texting and driving since 2008 – and even received a patent on it in 2014 – but refuses to use it over concerns that it will lose market share to other phone-makers who do not limit consumer use. In the last three months of 2016, Apple generated $8.5 billion in net profit, and at the end of its fiscal year had $238 billion of cash on hand.
The destruction created by the practice is enormous. The lawsuit claims that, based on data provided by the Federal Highway Administration and the California Highway Patrol, Apple’s iPhones are responsible for 52,000 automobile accidents in California each year, and an average of 312 deaths.
“Texting and driving has become one of the most serious issues that confronts all of us on a daily basis,” said Jonathan Michaels, the founding member of MLG Automotive Law. “The number of people who have been being killed or injured is astonishing. It has to stop.” Michaels continued, “Legislating against drivers will unfortunately not solve the problem. The relationship consumers have with their phones is just too great, and the ability to slide under the eye of the law is just too easy. Embedding lock-out devices is the only solution.”
Julio Ceja of Costa Mesa, California was injured in an accident caused by a driver who was on her iPhone. The class action is brought on behalf of all California residents, and seeks to halt all iPhone sales in the state until the lock-out device is employed. In its most recent SEC filing, Apple indicated that in 2016 it sold an average of 586,000 iPhones per day.
Located in Newport Beach, California, MLG Automotive Law is a full service business law firm, concentrating on representing the legal interests of businesses and people in the automotive industry. Its clientele includes car dealers, high performance manufacturers, motorsports personalities, race teams, car collectors and automotive associations.
In another separate case, a teenage boy was using FaceTime while driving and killed a young girl.