Apple is not responsible for the misuse of its iPhone

The SE Texas Record Sep. 28, 2015, 12:25pm


Have you ever seen another motorist go by with the front windshield sun shade still in place?

Probably not.

A person who forgot to remove the sun shade before turning the key might put the car in reverse and back out of a parking space or driveway before noticing the obstruction, but surely would not drive forward thus impaired.

Have you ever seen someone driving blindfolded or with a bag over his head?

Again, probably not. That would be insane.

Just suppose, though, that you were hit from behind by a person with a sun shade still in place, or a blindfold on, or a bag over his head. Whom, or what, would you blame?

The fool driving like that, right? Not the sun shade, not the bandana or kerchief used as a blindfold, and not the bag, much less the manufacturers of those items.

You wouldn't file suit against a company that made a perfectly safe and helpful product just because some knucklehead came up with a completely unanticipatable way to grossly misuse it.

The same logic holds true, or should hold true, for the smartphone, a perfectly safe and useful product, provided it's not grossly and recklessly misused by someone.

Two years ago, Ashley Kubiak was driving her 20-year-old pickup east on Highway 43 in Henderson, while texting on her Apple iPhone. Thus impaired, she ran into the back of another vehicle stopped at an intersection, pushing it into cross traffic.

Two women were killed, a young boy paralyzed. It was a senseless – and easily avoidable tragedy that Kubiak (charged with two counts of criminally negligent homicide) is responsible for.

Relatives of the deceased and injured were no doubt emotionally traumatized and financially burdened by the accident, but a lawsuit that tries to put some of the blame on Apple Inc. for the accident was filed in the Tyler Division of the Eastern District of Texas. It is a suit that cannot be justified and should be discontinued or dismissed.

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