The Apple logo is displayed on an iPhone 6 on July 21, 2015 in San Francisco, California. Apple reported a 38 percent surge in third quarter earnings with a profit of $10.7 billion compared to $7.74 billion one year ago. The quarterly earnings were boosted by strong demand for the latest iPhones. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)
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Moriah Modisette was five years old when she died

By Charlotte Alter
January 2, 2017

The family of a girl killed in a Texas car crash is suing Apple because the driver who plowed into their car was using FaceTime behind the wheel.

Five-year old Moriah Modisette was killed and her father was seriously injured when driver Garrett Willhelm plowed into their car at 65 mph on a Texas highway on Christmas Eve in 2014, according to her family. Willhelm was chatting on FaceTime at the time of the crash, and the app was still running as rescue workers labored to remove Moriah and her father James Modisette from the mangled car, according to a copy of the lawsuit uncovered by Courthouse News.

The family claims the company had failed to install a “lock-out” feature on FaceTime that would prevent drivers from using the app while on the road. The lawsuit alleges that Apple had applied for a patent for this feature in 2008 and was granted the patent in 2014, months before the crash, yet did not install the feature that could have prevented the catastrophe.

According to the lawsuit, the family blames Apple’s “negligent failure to implement ‘lock-out’ capabilities on its iPhone 6 Plus smartphone” for the crash, for Moriah’s death, and for the subsequent emotional and physical devastation of their family.

Apple did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

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