Stay up to date with notifications from The Independent

Notifications can be managed in browser preferences.

Couple sues Apple after FaceTime was 'involved' in car crash killing daughter

Parents claim death could have been prevented if Apple enabled safety technology on FaceTime app

Will Worley
Friday 30 December 2016 14:17 GMT
Moriah died after a driver using FaceTime crashed into her parents car
Moriah died after a driver using FaceTime crashed into her parents car (GoFundMe )

A bereaved family is suing Apple after the death of their young daughter, who died in a car crash allegedly caused by a driver who was using FaceTime behind the wheel.

The family said the tech giant should have implemented software it patented in 2008 which would have prevented the app being used by a driver.

Five-year-old Moriah Modisette was travelling in the back of her parent’s car near Dallas in 2014 when it was hit at 65 mph by Garrett Willhelm, 22, who was using the Apple app while driving, police said.

She later died of her injuries and her parents, James and Bethany Modisette, and sister, Isabella, eight, were also hurt.

Officers at the scene found the FaceTime app still running after the crash. Mr Wilhelm is facing a manslaughter charge.

Now, the Modisettes have filed a lawsuit against Apple because of its “failure to install and implement the safer, alternative design for which it sought a patent in December 2008 … to ‘lock out’ the ability of drivers to utilise the ‘FaceTime’ application on the Apple iPhone when driving a motor vehicle, which resulted in the injuries sustained by plaintiffs,” according to Courthouse News.

The software would have used GPS technology to detect the speed of a FaceTime user and prevented it from working if they were determined to be travelling too fast and potentially in control of a vehicle.

FaceTime was a “substantial factor” in Moriah’s death, her parents said, adding that if the software was installed, it could have prevented the accident.

iPhone 7 headphone hoax sees trolls try and trick people into drilling huge holes in their new phones

They added that it was particularly careless on Apple’s part because FaceTime demands visual engagement.

The Modisettes, who are suing for damages, said Apple breached a “duty of care”.

Apple has not yet responded.

Join our commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies


Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in