December 19th, 2018
US Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit Opinions
Meador v. Apple, Inc.
Opinion Date: December 18, 2018
Judge: Stephen Andrew Higginson
Areas of Law: Personal Injury
Under Texas law, a driver's neurobiological response to a smartphone notification cannot be a cause in fact of a car crash. Plaintiffs filed suit against Apple, alleging that a tragic car accident was caused by Apple's failure to implement the patent on the iPhone 5 covering lock-out mechanisms for driver handheld computing devices and by Apple's failure to warn iPhone 5 users about the risks of distracted driving. In this case, a driver looked down at her text message after she heard a notification and then caused an accident killing two adults and rendering a child a paraplegic. Because the court declined to consider "neurobiological compulsion" a substantial factor under Texas law, the court held that the iPhone 5 could not be a cause in fact of the injuries in this case. Therefore, the court affirmed the dismissal of plaintiffs' claims and denial of their motion for leave to amend.
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