The young girl, Moriah Modisette, was traveling with her family on Christmas Eve, 2014, on Interstate 35, just north of Dallas, when the accident occurred.
Her family’s Toyota Camry was hit from behind by another vehicle as they were slowing down for traffic. The Toyota 4Runner which struck the family’s vehicle was reportedly traveling at 65 mph at the time of the accident, which caused the SUV to roll up and over the driver’s side of the Modisette’ vehicle.
According to the lawsuit, 22-year-old driver of the 4Runner, Garrett Wilhelm, was actively using Apple’s ‘FaceTime’ at the time of the accident. The application was still active when officers arrived at the scene.
Driver and father James Modisette was airlifted to Cook Children’s hospital along with his daughter, Moriah, where the child later died from her injuries, Denton Record-Chronicle reports.
The young driver now faces manslaughter charges as the family turns to Apple Inc. and the company’s failure to properly address the dangers of driving while using the FaceTime application.
KTLA 5 news reports that the family filed a wrongful death lawsuit on Dec. 23rd in Santa Clara County Superior Court that claims Apple possessed the patented ‘FaceTime’ design that could use GPS tracking to prevent consumers from using the application whilst driving.
According to Courthouse News, the “driver handheld computing device lock-out” feature was patented in 2008 by Apple, but never implemented. The wrongful death suit also claims that Apple never strongly advised against using the application whilst driving.
The lawsuit states that “Apple, Inc.’s failure to exercise reasonable care caused or contributed to the risk of Garrett Wilhelm to use ‘FaceTime’ while driving his car … which caused him to be distracted from the conditions on the road ahead,”.
The suit seeks monetary damages from Apple, Inc. Apple has yet to respond to the Modisette family’s allegations.