Google lawsuit name mix-up results in threats

SANTA MONICA, Calif. The injured woman, from Northridge, claims Google owes her $100,000 after she was hit on a street that the map indicated was safe to cross on foot. Now a Santa Monica woman mistakenly linked to the case is being harassed.

The woman suing Google is in her 20s and lives in Northridge. She's seeking more than $100,000 for medical bills, lost wages and punitive damages. Another woman with the same name who lives and works in Santa Monica said she's becoming the target for those who are lashing out against the plaintiff.

Lauren Rosenberg wants the world to know -- she is a publicist with a reputable business and she is not suing Google.

"I am not 'that' Lauren Rosenberg," said the Lauren Rosenberg who is not suing Google.

Call it a case of mistaken identity. Lauren says she's been hounded by nasty e-mails, Facebook messages and phone calls ever since the news broke about a woman with the same name who was struck by a car while following a Google walking route.

"Is it not just easier to say you had a lapse in judgment than to blame Google or the driver?" said Lauren, quoting from one online post.

According to a lawsuit filed in U.S. District Court in Utah, the other Lauren Rosenberg -- the plaintiff -- says she used her phone in January 2009 to download walking directions from one end of Park City, Utah, to the other.

The suit claims Google Maps led her to walk on a snow-covered four-lane boulevard without sidewalks that was "not reasonably safe for pedestrians."

The suit also says Rosenberg believed she could reach a sidewalk on the other side of Deer Valley Drive, and when she tried to cross the boulevard she was struck by a speeding car.

The plaintiff's attorneys said: "We think there's enough fault to go around, but Google had some responsibility to direct people correctly or warn them. They created a trap with walking instructions that people rely on. She relied on it and thought she should cross the street."

Many critics accuse Rosenberg of lacking common sense and ignoring her own safety. The Santa Monica Lauren Rosenberg just hopes people will stop wrongly accusing her.

"I'm a publicist who needs a publicist and my blog is 'Everybody Needs a Publicist' so -- here it is I'm living my own words, I guess," said Lauren.

Google released a statement Tuesday: "We haven't yet been served, so we can't comment on the specifics of this case before we've had a chance to review the suit."

Google also said that since 2008, when Google Maps was launched, the company has provided a disclaimer on every software version for both desktop computers and mobile devices.

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