Teen Being Sued After Crashing Car While Allegedly Using Snapchat’s ‘Speed’ Filter

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Christal McGee Shortly After Accident – Snapchat (Credit: MLN Law)

NEW YORK -- Snapchat has a filter that lets people share how fast they're traveling while they take selfies.

A car accident victim is blaming Snapchat's speed filter for a crash that left him with traumatic brain injuries, according to a new lawsuit.

The plaintiff, Wentworth Maynard, was merging onto a four lane highway outside of Atlanta, Georgia when his car was struck "so violently it shot across the left lane into the left embankment," his lawyers contend.

Christal McGee was allegedly driving the car that struck him. The lawsuit says that she was on her phone trying to use the Snapchat speed filter at the time of the accident.

"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.'" the victim's lawyers say.

A passenger in McGee's car said she had hit 113 mph on the Snapchat filter, they added. When the cars hit, the speed was 107 mph, according to the complaint. The speed limit was 55.

"While [she] was distracted and on her phone, McGee did not notice that a gray Mitsubishi, driven by Maynard Wentworth, had pulled out onto the road," the complaint says.

McGee, who was also injured in the accident, apparently also took a Snapchat while she was in the ambulance, on a gurney, with blood on her face.

Credit: MLN Law

"Lucky to be alive" was the caption.

Maynard and his wife are now suing McGee and Snapchat to pay for the medical bills. Maynard spent five weeks in intensive care for severe traumatic brain injury treatments. He now needs a walker or wheelchair to get around and cannot work. He was an Uber driver at the time of the accident last year.

The lawsuit also alleges that Snapchat has been aware of previous accidents caused by using the app while driving at high speeds, and yet the company chose not to remove the speed filter.

"This is a product liability case because Snapchat put something very dangerous in the marketplace without any warnings or safeguards, and basically said, whatever happens, happens," attorney T. Shane Peagler said in a statement.

CNNMoney's attempts to reach McGee were unsuccessful.

A Snapchat spokesman said he could not comment on a pending lawsuit, but added that the app has always included a warning not to use it while driving.

14 comments

  • Shameau

    Isn’t it amazing there is always SOMEONE or SOMETHING else to blame. Start taking responsibility for your OWN actions.

  • BE NICE

    Vain girl is responsible for alot of pain and suffering of a fellow human being and all she can do is take another picture of herself. Will anybody really ever want to date her or be friends with this vain person?

  • p wep (@pat4597)

    First off, shut down Snapchat, what a waste…………..That girl needs therapy and to grow up. What an idiot.

  • Ben Carson

    I’d like to see Mr.Maynard’s tax return for how much money he was reporting to the IRS as income and then I feel this girl should have to pay that income for the rest of his life plus all medical cost and vehicle replacement cost. Then it would be settled. This is how all lawsuits should be settled. Lawsuits should be based on your worthiness to society!

  • Steve

    Snapchat Uber Facebook Twitter Instagram are doing great things to make life easier, convenient, and fun.

  • jimbrony

    Spot on. Not long ago I was behind another vehicle merging onto an interstate highway. The other vehicle just took off like they were being chased by demons – then suddenly swerved, rolled onto its roof and slid into the median. I assisted the young girl out the wreckage through broken glass and got her away from the car. She wanted her phone – I told her to stay away from her vehicle and I handed her my phone. She crawled back into the smoking wreckage to get her phone, sat down, and started texting. The laws regarding distracted driving need to have teeth or more people will be injured or killed because of the selfishness and stupidity of others.

  • Franko

    Ok, so SnapChat makes n app that lets you record how fast you are driving while you take a selfie, but in their defense they say that they have warnings not to use the app while driving… So basically don’t use the app they made that was created to be used and only functions when you are driving – And they say they aren’t liable for creating the app that has caused stupid people who use it to have accident… Let’s see, you make an app that only works when the car is in motion and then put it out there and market it to your customers but think you aren’t liable for anything because you put a disclaimer saying don’t use the app when driving, or in other words, never use the app because it doesn’t work if you aren’t driving… hmmm, sounds like a no-brainer to me…
    How about this one — Why did you even bother creating the app ? Take it off the market..

    And that girl that was not only stupid enough to be speeding at twice the speed limit, but also using the app, was even more idiotic for pulling out her phone to snapchat herself in the ambulance…

    That’s the problem with the tech generation — it’s all about the “putting yourself out there for everyone to see what’s happening in your life” issue

    • misterpl

      This very first line of the article:

      “Snapchat has a filter that lets people share how fast they’re TRAVELING while they take selfies.”

      Not driving, TRAVELING. And as you said, Snapchat warns users NOT to use it WHILE DRIVING.

      The lawsuit against Snapchat should be dropped. It’s not their fault people can’t read.

    • Eric

      That “warning” is disingenuous and the courts are likely to rule as such. the warning is countered by the app itself, it is used to take a selfie showing your speed while driving. You said it yourself. They instruct you to use it while driving to take a selfie, which in Pennsylvania would be distracted driving. That is what opens the driver and the company up to lawsuits. The company is equally stupid and wreckless for putting the app out there for use.

    • taylor

      You have it completely wrong about the app. It has many functions, ONE of them being that there is a filter that shows the speed you are traveling while taking a photo (or selfie). While I understand your point that it is a silly feature, you need to realize that the app serves many other purposes. This is important because knowing this, you probably wouldn’t believe that Snapchat was at fault for any of this girl’s stupidity. She was using the app not as it was intended, not the other way around.

      • jimbrony

        It’s similar to the ‘attractive nuisance’ liability that many municipalities and states enforce – swimming pools without fences, refrigerators and freezers stored outdoors, construction sites with open trenches. They provided something that people with poor or no judgement can discern if it’s a danger to themselves or anyone else, therefore the courts might find them at least partially liable. What they could do in good faith is remove the ‘speed filter’. You say: “you need to realize that the app serves many other purposes” Either a poor choice of words, or perhaps this is you revealing your age and level of maturity. I doubt the world would come to a screeching halt if crapchat suddenly stopped working. It’s a toy, an entertainment application.

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