So apparently social media app Snapchat seems to have a knack for getting into trouble. First, teens and pre-teens loved the app as a vehicle to send nude photos because the pictures supposedly disappeared soon after sending them. But capturing a screenshot of your phone saved the pics forever and soon enough people were sharing the images and getting arrested for sharing child pornography. Then on 4/20, Snapchat caught more heat for itsBob Marley filter that let you add dreadlocks, a knit cap and a darker skintone to any picture of yourself to “honor” Bob Marley on National Get High Day.
But now comes more legal trouble after a Georgia man, Wentworth Maynard, was merging onto a four lane highway outside of Atlanta, Georgia when his car was struck by another vehicle at an extremely high rate of speed. It seems 18 year old Christal McGee was allegedly driving the car that struck him; the accident occurred while she was on her phone trying to use the Snapchat speed filter. “McGee wanted to post an image of herself going fast. She argued that she was, ‘Just trying to get the car to 100 miles per hour to post it on Snapchat.'” the victim’s lawyers say. A passenger in McGee’s car said she had hit 113 mph on the Snapchat filter, the lawyers added. When the cars hit, the speed of the car was apparently 107 mph in a 55 mph zone.
The lawsuit filed in Spalding County Georgia of course predominantly blames McGee but claims Snapchat facilitated the crash by causing the distracted driving. I don’t see it succeeding against Snapchat, however. Look, is it foreseeable that if you have a speed filter that folks are going to try and see how fast the car can go and then post it? Sure, but folks have also taken cellphone videos of their speedometers and posted that on YouTube almost ever since there was a YouTube. Why not sue the phone company for putting in a camera? Its essentially the same thing. Come to think of it, why not sue the car company for letting the vehicle attain 113 and 107 mph? Snapchat of course has disclaimers on its app. Snapchat’s terms of service state: “Do not use our services in a way that would distract you from obeying traffic or safety laws. And never put yourself or others in harm’s way just to capture a snap.” The filter itself also contains a warning that says “don’t snap and drive.” I believe these disclaimers and that no one at Snapchat forced or dared Ms.McGhee to travel 113 mph will lead to a dismissal of the lawsuit.
Mr. Maynard suffered terrible injuries, including sever brain trauma. According to his lawyers, he now has to use a wheelchair or walker to get around and has never returned to his job as an Uber driver since the accident which occurred in 2015.McGee, who was also injured in the accident, apparently also took a Snapchat while she was in the ambulance, on a gurney, with blood on her face.
The caption: “Lucky to be alive.” Here’s her Snapchat post courtesy of Mr. Maynard’s lawyer Michael Lawson Neff:
Here’s a copy of the complaint
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