A Georgia couple is suing Snapchat after a September 10, 2015 car accident seriously injured the husband — leaving him permanently brain damaged. The Verge reports that Wentworth Maynard was driving in a 55-mile-per-hour zone when 18-year-old Christal McGee crashed into him traveling at 107 miles per hour. According to the lawsuit filed by the Maynard's, McGee was attempting to use Snapchat's "speed filter" — a feature that overlays the speed one is traveling on a picture — to get a photo traveling at 100 miles per hour when the accident occurred.
"Snapchat's speed filter facilitated McGee's excessive speeding," reads the lawsuit, which also names McGee. "McGee was motivated to drive at an excessive speed in order to obtain recognition through Snapchat by the means of a Snapchat 'trophy.' "
As noted by the suit, even after the wreck McGee continuing posting to Snapchat — including a terrifying shot from a gurney. "Lucky to be alive," reads the caption on that picture.
The crash occurred in Hampton, a town south of Atlanta, Georgia. According to the Associated Press, McGee's car struck the Maynard's car — sending it "across the left lane and into an embankment." Wentworth suffered brain damage, and the Washington Post reports that he was hospitalized for months.
This is not the first time Snapchat has been accused of leading to a crash. The lawsuit mentions a similar case, reported on in Knowledge Glue, that happened in Brazil in the summer of 2015 (photos of which are included on page 5 of the lawsuit, but fair warning: They're graphic).
"No Snap is more important than someone’s safety," Snapchat spokesperson Noah Edwardsen wrote to SFist. "We actively discourage our community from using the speed filter while driving, including by displaying a 'Do NOT Snap and Drive' warning message in the app itself."
As reported by The Verge, Maynard's lawyers "claim that he lost 50 pounds, requires a walker or wheelchair to get around, and cannot work or support himself." They are suing Snapchat to cover medical bills.
This post has been updated to include the statement from Snapchat.