Former Uber Driver Sues Snapchat Over Accident

| by Kathryn Schroeder
Christal McGeeChristal McGee

A former Georgia Uber driver is suing Snapchat and the teenager who hit him with her car while using the social media platform's speed filter in order to post a selfie.

In September 2015, 18-year-old Christal McGee was driving her father's Mercedes home from work when she decided to use the Snapchat filter that records users speed of travel and attaches it to a selfie, the Washington Post reports.

McGee reached 113 mph on a suburban road with a 55 mph speed limit.

At 107 mph, she struck Maynard Wentworth, who was just beginning his evening Uber shift.

He sustained a traumatic brain injury and was hospitalized for months.

Wentworth and his wife, Karen, filed a civil lawsuit April 19 against Snapchat for the creation and distribution of the speed filter that they claim “was a critical cause of the automobile collision,” according to the court document. McGee is also listed as a plaintiff in the lawsuit.

The couple claim that the company knew prior to the accident that use of the app to “capture a Snap” may put the user or others in “harm’s way,” while possibly distracting users from “obeying traffic and safety laws.”

The lawsuit notes traffic accidents that occurred involving users of the speed filter prior to September 2015, as well as a petition that asked Snapchat to remove the speed filter.

Snapchat’s failure to delete the speed filter after reports of accidents occurring is cited as why the company is just as responsible for the crash as McGee, according to the lawsuit.

The lawsuit alleges negligence on the part of Snapchat and McGee.

Wentworth has permanent brain damage from the accident and is unable to work. The lawsuit states he has “suffered a permanent loss of quality of life” and “financial losses,” which continue to this day.

The lawsuit requests that a jury determine the amount of damages to be awarded to Wentworth and his wife.

Sources: Washington Post, State Court of Spalding County Georgia, / Photo credit: The Law Offices of Michael Lawson Neff, P.C. via Washington Post

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