Appeals Court Says Georgia Crash Case Can Proceed Against Snapchat
ATLANTA, GA. – June 7, 2018 (bna.com) According to an online news report from bna.com, a vehicle crash case against Snapchat has been revived, after the Georgia Court of Appeals overturned the decision of a lower court dismissing Snap Inc. from the case.
In September 2015, Christal McGee, who was 18 years old at the time, was driving a Mercedes Benz C230 on Tara Boulevard in Clayton County, Georgia. She had three passengers with her in the vehicle at the time and was using the social media app Snapchat to post an online video of herself driving. McGee was using the app’s “speed filter” that records users’ speeds in an effort to earn points within the app and a user “trophy” by reaching 100 mph.
At approximately 11:15 p.m., Uber driver Wentworth Maynard was starting his driving shift and merged onto Tara Boulevard in his Mitsubishi Outlander. McGee did not notice Maynard’s Outlander and slammed into the back of it at a speed of almost 110 mph. Maynard and his wife, Karen, subsequently filed a lawsuit against McGee and Snapchat alleging Maynard suffered severe brain injuries in the wreck.
In 2016, a Georgia judge granted Snapchat’s request for dismissal from the case, citing a federal law that protects online content providers from liability for the information users post with their services. On June 5, however, the Georgia Court of Appeals overturned that decision and ordered the case can proceed against Snapchat. Snapchat is now looking at potential legal liability for offering the filter and for its potential role in causing Maynard’s injuries. Critics of the decision are concerned it could open the floodgates to unmitigated liability against social media companies for user content.
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