Question Authority

     Can Google and a motorist be negligent at the same time?
     OK, it’s a trick question. Of course they can.
     But can their simultaneous negligence cause the same damage or even contribute to the same damage?
     I love it when lawsuits present philosophical questions.
     In case you missed it, a woman who was hit by a car in Utah has sued Google.
     No, Google wasn’t driving. What Google did do was give the plaintiff directions that led her to a road that had no sidewalks but did feature “motor vehicles traveling at high speeds, that is not reasonably safe for pedestrians.”
     Neither the lack of sidewalks nor the speeding cars, apparently, stopped this woman from following her Google directions.
     Let me now say what most of you are thinking: If Google told you to jump off a bridge, would you do it?
     Assuming you would, does that relieve the driver here of liability? After all, is it his fault that Google has unleashed robotic directions followers onto the road in front of him? Shouldn’t the driver be suing Google too?
     And what about the state of Utah? After all, the government here built a road that it could reasonably foresee as a route on Google and also as a place for high-speed vehicles.
     Maybe, just maybe, though, there’s something more sinister at hand here that, to be honest, I didn’t notice when I first read the lawsuit. To wit:
     “Defendant knew or should have known that Deer Valley Road, a.k.a. State Route 224, is a rural highway exhibiting vehicles traveling at a high rate of speed, and devoid of pedestrian sidewalks, yet Defendant Google instructed Plaintiff Lauren Rosenberg to use that road for her pedestrian travel….”
     Google was trying to kill her!
     I’m going to start cutting down on my computer use.
     
     PHYSICAL THERAPY. OK, doctors shouldn’t take advantage of their patients. But sometimes they’re just trying to be helpful.
     Maybe.
     A malpractice complaint filed in Los Angeles Superior Court against a psychologist the other day contained a list of alleged abuses including “instructing plaintiff on how to work successfully as a prostitute, including how to dress sexy, what to charge, what to wear, how to avoid getting arrested, and what sex acts men particularly like.”
     A successful career can be therapeutic.
     
     BEATING A DEAD CODPIECE. Last week, you may recall, I noted how odd it was that Gene Simmons, the tongue guy with KISS, decided to sue a woman he claims he didn’t sexually assault.
     I said – in my silly sort of way – that the only apparent reason for suing was to call attention to the charge. After all, if the woman was serious, she’d sue him anyway – and she did.
     So what’s happened now?
     Gene Simmons – or at least his public relations person – has issued a press release about the incident. Apparently, they really want to make sure we know about this.
     The release ends with Simmons’ very odd defense: “(T) he type of alleged ‘sexual assault’ that Jackson alleges – that Simmons allegedly ‘grinded’ against her – is belied by the fact that at the time Simmons was in full costume, which includes a ‘codpiece’ over Mr. Simmons’ groin area.”
     How can you grind against someone if you’re not naked?
     Do you think he thinks it’s not sex if you’re wearing a condom?
     Expect a counter-claim of assault with a deadly codpiece.

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