A North Carolina woman is suing Google after her husband died after he drove off a collapsed bridge last year while he was following GPS directions, according to a lawsuit filed this week.
Philip Paxson died after he drove off "an unmarked, unbarricaded collapsed bridge" on the night of Sept. 30 in Hickory, his widow, Alicia Paxson, said in the suit, filed Tuesday in Wake County.
Paxson was not aware the bridge had collapsed and was following GPS directions from Google, which had not been updated, the lawsuit says.
The suit, which alleges negligence, seeks a jury trial. It does not specify a damage amount it is requesting.
It named Alphabet, Google's parent company, and three people who own or control the land on which the bridge on 24th Street Place NE sits.
A large section of the bridge, known as the Snow Creek Bridge, collapsed in 2013 and was never repaired, the lawsuit alleges.
Google Maps directed Paxson to take that route, the suit says, as he drove home on a rainy night from his 9-year-old daughter's birthday party and was killed.
He was the only one in the vehicle, a Jeep Gladiator. He had stayed late to help clean up after the party, and his wife took their two daughters home in a different vehicle, the suit says.
The suit says a woman had told Google that the bridge was out. That person in 2020 used a "suggest an edit" feature twice and was told in an emailed response that the matter was under review, the lawsuit alleges.
The Paxsons lived a little over 4 miles from where the party occurred, and he was unfamiliar with the area, the suit says. The family moved to Hickory in 2020 after Philip Paxson, a medical device salesman, was promoted, it says.
The area was unlit and "pitch black at 11:00 p.m." when the crash occurred, the suit alleges. The Jeep went 20 feet down, and Paxson drowned, it says.
A spokesperson said Google's goal is to provide accurate directions.
"We have the deepest sympathies for the Paxson family. Our goal is to provide accurate routing information in Maps and we are reviewing this lawsuit," the spokesperson said in a statement early Thursday.
Hickory is a city of around 43,000 about 40 miles northwest of Charlotte.
This article was originally published on NBCNews.com