Parents Sue Apple, Alleging FaceTime Feature Caused Child’s Death

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By Tera Brostoff

Parents of a deceased child sued Apple Inc., alleging a driver’s using the “FaceTime” feature of an iPhone while operating his car caused their child’s death ( Modisette v. Apple Inc., Cal. App. Dep’t Super. Ct., No. 16CV304364, 12/22/16 ).

The complaint alleges that Apple Inc. wrongfully failed to install and implement a safer design—that was the subject of a patent sought eight years ago—to prevent drivers from using FaceTime while driving.

According to the complaint, Garrett Wilhelm was driving a Toyota 4Runner and collided with the Modisettes’ vehicle. The complaint states that Wilhelm told the police at the scene that he was using FaceTime when the crash occurred. The police found his iPhone at the scene with the FaceTime application still active.

The Modisettes have sued Apple Inc. for negligence, loss of consortium and strict products liability.

Simon Greenstone Panatier Bartlett PC represented the Modisettes.

To contact the reporter on this story: Tera Brostoff in Washington at tbrostoff@bna.com

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Carol Eoannou at ceoannou@bna.com

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