Skip to Content



Dovel & Luner Files Lawsuit Against Google

Press Release

SANTA MONICA – On Tuesday, January 30, 2024, Dovel & Luner filed a lawsuit against Google on behalf of Jason and Katharine Zoladz, users of the Google Maps application. The lawsuit alleges that Google’s wrongful conduct and gross negligence caused severe injuries and emotional distress to the Plaintiffs, who were violently robbed on their way to the Cape Town airport while traveling in South Africa.

According to the Complaint, Plaintiffs used Google Maps to direct them on their drive to the Cape Town International Airport.  Plaintiffs were directed by Google Maps to turn onto a road that intersects with a stretch of highway dubbed “Hell Run” for its frequent violent attacks on tourists.

As the lawsuit notes, when “Jason stopped the car at a red light…a gang of armed assailants attacked.  One of the men threw a paving brick through the driver’s side window, smashing the glass, and Jason’s jaw, into pieces.  After the brick collided with Jason’s jaw, it careened into Katharine, causing injuries to her arm.  The robbers fired several gunshots into the air. They dragged the couple from the car, stole the couple’s credit cards, phones, and all their cash, and left Jason bleeding by the side of the road.”

A Google spokesperson stated that the company was aware of the “trend of certain routes exposing people to danger” when driving to and from the Cape Town airport, and that “without local knowledge and without intuition” of these dangerous routes, drivers “are actually flying blind.”

Filed in the Superior Court of Santa Clara County in California, the Complaint alleges that “Google had actual knowledge of the extreme danger to its users, but took no action to protect or warn them.” The Complaint also notes that “United States, South African, and Cape Town officials had been in communication with Google for months asking that Google Maps not direct users along dangerous routes through [the] Nyanga [neighborhood] to or from Cape Town International Airport…But Google failed to take any action to direct travelers away from the grave danger on these routes or to warn them of that danger so that they could protect themselves.”

“These violent attacks could have been prevented,” said Susan Posluszny of Dovel & Luner.  “Our clients brought this case to raise awareness about this issue and hold Google accountable.”

SOURCE Dovel & Luner, LLP

Related Links:

Related Publication(s): The Mercury News

Scroll to Top of Page