Lawsuit Claims Snapchat Filter Responsible for Car Crash

The filter allows users to post a photo showing how fast they're moving
By Michael Harthorne,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 27, 2016 5:55 PM CDT
Lawsuit Claims Snapchat Filter Responsible for Car Crash
Wentworth Maynard's car after the crash that left him with permanent brain damage last September in Georgia.   (Law Offices of Michael Lawson Neff)

A Georgia man claims the car accident that left him with permanent brain damage was caused by a teen too busy taking selfies to pay attention to the road, NBC News reports. Now he's suing the teen, Christal McGee, and Snapchat. The lawsuit filed this month claims McGee was using Snapchat's speed filter at the time of the crash last September. As the New York Daily News explains, the filter adds a user's speed to their photo to show how fast they were moving when it was taken. Lawyers for Wentworth Maynard say McGee, 18, admitted to trying to get her Mercedes Benz up to 100mph in order to post a photo using the speed filter, CNN reports. When she crashed into Maynard's car, she was going about 107mph—nearly double the speed limit.

Maynard spent five weeks in the hospital following the crash, according to the lawsuit. He lost 50 pounds, requires a wheelchair or walker to get around, can't work, and can't take care of himself. And his lawyers say McGee wasn't done with Snapchat even after the crash. They claim she took a selfie with blood dripping down her face and the caption "lucky to be alive" immediately after the accident (that photo can be seen here). Maynard is seeking unspecified damages to cover his medical bills. "The issue really is about distracted teenage drivers," his lawyer tells NBC. "It's about Snapchat encouraging teenagers to drive at fast speed for social status." A Snapchat spokesperson says it discourages people from using its speed filter while driving with an in-app warning message. (The Snapchat Bob Marley filter did not go over well.)

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