Your Anger is Misdirected

Politics, Social Media / Tuesday, January 3rd, 2017


I watch the news regularly, especially the nightly news, I like to stay caught up on events all over the world, not just locally. From time to time I hear or read about an incident that I can’t get off my mind. If you read this post, then you are familiar with what I’m referring to. I never saw this particular story make national news, but that doesn’t mean it didn’t. If you haven’t read about it yet, you find the full story here. I’ll give you the rundown though.

In 2014 Apple was granted a patent that would allow them to install GPS tracking in their FaceTime application that disabled the use of the app if you were traveling at a certain speed. The idea of the patent was to prevent people from using FaceTime while driving.

In December of 2014, a man named Garrett Wilhelm was traveling at about 65 MPH on I-35 in Dallas, Texas when he crashed into James and Bethany Modiste’s car. In the vehicle at the time of the accident, were James, his wife Bethany, and their two daughters, Isabella and Moriah. Police reported that Wilhelm’s car ‘rolled up and over the Modiste’s car.’

Moriah, seated behind her father, was airlifted to Cook Children’s hospital and later died from her injuries. Police reported that when they arrived on scene to the accident, Wilhelm’s FaceTime app was still on and he is now facing manslaughter charges. James and Bethany Modiste have filed a lawsuit against Apple claiming they are responsible for the death of their daughter, Moriah.

When I read things like this, I find myself going back and forth between the pain and anger these two parents must be experiencing, and I side with them. Yes, Apple, if you had the ability to prevent something so tragic, then why didn’t you utilize it?
Flip the coin though, and think about Apple’s position. There is an endless amount of technological capabilities they have the power to implement and use but don’t. I can’t help but think this must be an isolated incident. I know you Apple people are geniuses, if you could stop the impossible then you would, right?

There are safety mechanisms on guns. People still die when not handled correctly.
There are warning labels on coffee cups. People still get burned when it spills.
There are iron bars around zoo exhibits, people still fall in, and gorillas get shot and killed.
There are seat belts in cars. People still die in accidents.

Safety measures are implemented as just that – a safety measure, a precaution, a suggestion. They do not, by any means, eliminate the potential for something unsafe to occur. We still have to use our own judgement and although rare these days, we still have to use common sense! People often forget that.

I say this with deepest sincerity and respect for these parents…

Your anger is misdirected.

The problem with your misdirected anger is that you are not only living with the pain of losing your child you are hoping to make a third party (literally) pay for it. At the end of the day, if you make millions off of this lawsuit, it will not bring your daughter back, and it will not remove the pain and grief you will feel for the rest of your life.

If you’re going to sue Apple for choosing (not failing) to implement a design they merely had rights to then you should also sue Toyota for allowing Garret Wilhelm’s 4Runner to travel at a (legal) highway speed of 65 MPH.

If we condone people to misdirect their anger in courtrooms through irrelevant lawsuits, then I’m afraid we will find a portion of our society walking around with millions of dollars in their back pockets and chips on their shoulders. A courtroom is not the appropriate outlet to search for answers and closure regarding an unfair, unexpected, and unfortunate tragedy such as this.

Money doesn’t buy happiness and lawsuits do not bring people back from the dead.

Did you know… “Texas stands among a handful of states that still do not restrict the use of cellphones while driving for most drivers. Drivers younger than 18 are prohibited from using wireless communication devices. All Texas drivers are prohibited from texting or using handheld devices in school zones” according to the Denton Record-Chronical.
If the Modiste family wants to fight for something, fight for changes in the law. Write your legislators, create and promote petitions, call your local news stations. Inform, educate, advocate, and be a part of preventative measures. Find an appropriate outlet for your pain by being a part of the change in the places that matter. Not in a room full of lawyers and a judge.

Share your thoughts on this situation and the topic as a whole in the comments section. I’d love to hear what others think.

6 Replies to “Your Anger is Misdirected”

  1. This is an interesting topic. People often misdirect their anger when tragedy occurs, because traumatic grief is just so impossible to cope with. But you’re right: It’s not fair. We actually touched on this in my peer support group today, because a psychologist in my state was recently found culpable for a murder committed by a former patient. I honestly don’t understand, however, the logic going on here. Why is the family suing? I guess I need to read the whole story.

    1. Elizabeth, it’s definitely a controversial topic and I think that’s why things like this need to be talked about. The man driving the car is receiving a punishment for HIS actions and I personally believe that’s where it should end. I don’t understand the logic behind suing a third party. I wouldn’t assume this family is just money hungry, but rather there’s an attorney that convinced them they could make millions. Whether they win or lose the case, the loss is still there and like I said in the original post no amount of money will bring their daughter back. I think their efforts could be more productive elsewhere. Like in policy changes, for example. Thanks for reading!

  2. I agree. The anger is misdirected. I say this lightly, because I can’t imagine what it is like for those involved in the incident… but I think the blame is misdirected as well. No one wants to take responsibility for the mistake. It is truly a sad situation. I thought I recently saw a commercial, that on the next roll out, the features won’t work in the car. I remember a keynote that notifications won’t prompt as well.

  3. I had not heard of this situation! I think being an outsider, it’s easy to be able to be objective and say bad things happen to good people. But the reality is, in the moment and in the situation, it’s so much harder to think about things logically. I can feel for both.

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