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He was shot in the face, he wants to sue Google

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A US tourist who was shot in the face and robbed in Nyanga after Google Maps directed him through a notorious Cape Town neighborhood has said he will sue the platform. This is another such case. Google says it takes driver safety “very seriously.”

After landing in Cape Town, 55-year-old Walter Fischel from Connecticut rented a car at the airport and entered the destination of his trip on Google Maps – Simon's Town on False Bay. The simplest solution for an American tourist was to enter the airport-connected highway No. 2, which, approximately at the level of the University of Cape Town, connects to the main artery of this South African city, the M3, and this would directly take him to his destination. The entire route should take just over an hour. However, the navigation system installed in the car told the tourist to cross the highway and led him through the Nyanga district south of the airport.

Nyanga is a classic African slum – thousands of shacks made of sheet metal, tires and boards. This is the poorest and most dangerous part of the Cape Town metropolitan area, at least for white tourists. Tourists driving along the highway from the airport often slow down to look at this sea of ​​poverty. As soon as Fischel entered the narrow tangle of streets, he was stopped and attacked by the attackers. He was shot in the face and robbed of everything he had on him.

Another similar case

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The American is not the only person who wants to sue Google for his suffering. On Tuesday, Jason and Katharine Zoladz of Los Angeles also sued the tech giant after they were attacked earlier this year in almost the same location as Fischel. The scenario in their case was identical. Navigating their rental car at the airport took them to Nyanga instead of the highway. When they stopped the car at a red light, “one of the robbers threw a paving stone through the driver's side window, breaking Jason Zoladz's lower jaw into several pieces, cutting his skin and muscle to the bone and knocking him unconscious,” the police report said. According to police, the attackers pulled the couple from the car, fired several shots and stole cash, credit cards and cellphones. Katharine Zoladz, who is the regional director of the Los Angeles office of the US Securities and Exchange Commission, said that she would not leave the case without punishing those responsible. As she emphasized, they were guilty not only of robbery, but also of erroneous piloting.

Read also: The navigation led them to a place where they were beaten and robbed. They file a lawsuit against the manufacturer

Justification of the lawsuit

In bringing the case against Google, she accused the platform of directing her to a district that has long been known as the site of numerous brutal attacks on tourists by armed bandits. The lawsuit said Google was aware of the condition because it had repeatedly received warnings from U.S. and local officials about erroneous guidance. “Gangs of robbers lay in wait for tourists traveling in rental cars” and “assaulted cars by throwing bricks or large stones through car windows, brutally attacking passengers and stealing valuables,” she wrote in the lawsuit. Another part of the lawsuit, cited by the Mercury News, describes that Nyanga New Eisleben Road was known as a prime location for attacks because “gangs knew that Google Maps was directing unsuspecting tourists driving rental cars to it.”

Google: We take driver safety very seriously

Jason underwent three-hour reconstructive surgery and “now lives with four metal plates in his jaw, constant pain and numbness, and faces the likelihood of future surgeries, and Katharine has suffered permanent emotional damage,” the lawsuit says. The couple did not disclose how much compensation they expect from Google. “We take driver safety very seriously and are currently reviewing the lawsuit,” a Google spokesman commented in an interview with the New York Post.

Main photo source: Shutterstock

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