On January 20th, 2017, Spaulding County judge, Josh Thacker, dismissed a lawsuit alleging that Snapchat was responsible for a vehicle accident that left a driver injured.
Naveen Ramachandrappa, the lawyer of Wentworth Maynard who was injured in the crash, informed NBC News that he is not in agreeance with this order and is considering an appeal. He does not believe that the Communications Decency Act provides Snapchat with complete immunity for its negligent actions.
The accident took place on September 10th, 2015 when 19-year-old Christal McGee was playing with a Snapchat filter that was designed to track how fast she was moving. Points can be earned if pictures that capture a user’s speed are submitted.
McGee crashed into Maynard while she was going 100 miles per hour, causing him to suffer from a traumatic brain injury. It took five weeks in an intensive care unit for him to recover from his brain injury.
Snapchat can prove that not only was McGee not using the filter at the time of the crash, she wasn’t even on Snapchat when it happened. They also stated that they discourage usage of the filter while driving by displaying a warning message that reads “Do NOT Snap and Drive.”
Although Snapchat’s lawyer, Mark Trigg did not respond to comment requests, he told the Associated Press that a loss for Snapchat would’ve opened a floodgate of lawsuits for virtually any company that makes products that can potentially cause driving distractions. He explained that a win for Snapchat takes the blame away from these companies and hold drivers accountable for responsible driving.