LOS ANGELES (CNS) — Apple and Samsung are being sued by a members of a citizens group who want a judge to order both companies to implement a $1 billion program to educate drivers against using smartwatches and smartphones while driving.
The Coalition Against Distracted Driving filed the lawsuit Monday, April 20, in Los Angeles Superior Court, also naming Google Inc. and Microsoft Corp. The attorney representing the group, Stephen Joseph, also is a plaintiff.
Representatives for Apple and Samsung could not be immediately reached.
The suit states that CADD is a Los Angeles-based group formed to “promote effective and ongoing public education about the risks of using mobile devices while driving.”
Joseph is a regular driver and pedestrian who is “acting in this case in the public interest” while recognizing “potential injury to himself caused by the possibility of being hit by a driver who cannot see the road because he or she is using a smartphone or smartwatch,” the suit states.
The suit states that the use of smartphones while driving is a national “epidemic” and cites several nationwide instances in which accidents were caused by inattentive drivers, including a truck driver who was looking at photos of women on Facebook while using a Samsung Galaxy smartphone. The driver plowed into five police cars and killed one officer, the suit states.
The $1 billion cost of a national education program, “is a tiny fraction of profits that defendants receive from the sale of smartphones and smartwatches,” the suit states.
The Apple Watch “creates a far greater distraction than smartphones” because it is more difficult to ignore notifications, given that the device is strapped to one’s wrist, the suit states. The temptation to view the notifications is “irresistible” to teens who are involved in a texting conversation, it says.
The Apple Watch is not yet available to the public.