Street View Crash Victim Settles For Paltry Payout

Driver plowed into by Google vehicle gets $9100

Google Street View car

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Google Settlement

FEBRUARY 4--The Arkansas man whose vehicle was plowed into by a wayward Google Street View car traveling in the wrong direction on a one-way street has reached an out-of-court settlement with the search giant, though the paltry payout is barely enough to cover the purchase of a handful of shares in the company.

Dylan Case, a 22-year-old laborer, told TSG that Google last month paid him $9100 to settle a claim arising from the crash last August on a Little Rock road.

According to a police report, the Google-owned mapping vehicle (a 2010 Subaru Legacy) was going the wrong way on a one-way street when driver Alexander Spurr attempted a U-turn. But the Google car drove out into an adjacent road, where it struck Case’s car, a 2008 Mazda owned by his girlfriend.

The impact of the crash spun the Mazda around and caused about $2000 in damage, police reported. The Google car suffered $1500 in damages and, like the Mazda, had to be towed from the crash scene. Case said that the Street View vehicle “blew a red light” and “came out of nowhere and hits me in the side.”

Following the crash, Case (pictured above) was treated at a hospital emergency room, where he was fitted with a neck brace. A day after the accident, Case told TSG that he was suffering from bruised ribs and whiplash. The driver of the Street View car was cited by cops for “careless prohibited driving.”

Case told TSG that the crash--the aftermath of which can be seen below--caused him to miss a month of work, adding that he hired a lawyer to seek compensation from Google. 

At one point during the back-and-forth negotiations, Case said he made what he thought was a fair counteroffer to settle his claim. Google lawyers, however, flatly rejected his request for $75,000 as “unreasonable,” said Case.

Case eventually agreed to take $9100. Google also paid his lawyer’s fee and covered repair costs for the Mazda.

“I really wasn’t satisfied,” Case said. “But I didn’t want to wait a year or two to get paid. They should have given me more, no doubt, but I got tired and was getting the runaround.” 

Case, who said he planned to “put away about $6000,” was asked if he would consider investing some of his settlement in Google itself. “I’ve thought about it,” he replied, adding that he planned to consult with a financial advisor.

If Case chose to buy Google with his after-tax settlement, he could afford about 13 shares of the firm, which has a market capitalization of $360 billion. (5 pages)