A lawsuit is being filed against a teenager after she purportedly crashed her car while using Snapchat’s speed filter.
The driver, Christal McGee, 18, was using her phone behind the wheel when she slammed into a Mitsubishi in front of her, leaving the male driver permanently brain damaged.
The lawsuit against both McGee and Snapchat was filed in Spalding County, Georgia, by Wentworth and Karen Maynard. Michael L. Neff, the lawyer representing the couple, argued that Snapchat should have been aware that their speed filter was inherently dangerous.
The speed, or “miles per hour,” filter utilizes GPS technology to tell users how fast they are going. McGee had borrowed her father’s Mercedes on September 10, 2015 and was driving her three coworkers home, one who was pregnant, when she opened the social media app. The suit stated:
“McGee wanted to post an image of herself going fast. She argued that she was, “Just trying to get the car to 100 miles per hour to post it on Snapchat.”
Wentworth Maynard, an Uber driver, was just starting his shift when he merged his Mitsubishi Outlander onto Tara Boulevard, which has a speed limit of 55. Passengers in McGee’s Mercedes reported that they saw the speed on Snapchat’s filter reach 113 miles per hour when McGee hit Maynard’s car.
The lawsuit states that McGee’s car was at 107 miles per hour when the accident occurred. McGee allegedly continued to Snapchat the tragedy to her followers showing them her bloody injuries. She and her passengers were treated for cuts and bruises at Piedmont Fayette Hospital, but Maynard was left brain damaged. The suit continued:
“… Wentworth Maynard began a five week stay in the intensive care unit where he was treated for a severe traumatic brain injury. He breathed with the assistance of a breathing tube and ate with the help of a feeding tube.”
Having now been released from the hospital, Maynard relies on a wheelchair and walker for assistance and has difficulty communicating. His wife and family have become his caretakers and Maynard suffers from memory loss and depression.
A spokesperson for Snapchat told BuzzFeed that their app warns people not to use the filter while behind the wheel:
“No Snap is more important than someone’s safety. We actively discourage our community from using the speed filter while driving, including by displaying a ‘Do NOT snap and Drive’ warning message in the app itself.”