Suit seeks to make tech firms pay for campaign against distracted driving

“In the lawsuit, the Coalition Against Distracted Driving and Stephen L. Joseph, as an individual, seek an injunction against Apple, Samsung, Google, and Microsoft, requiring those companies to pay $1 billion annually to fund an ‘effective and ongoing national public education campaign’ to educate drivers on the dangers of using smart phones and smart watches while driving.” The suit seeks to define the behavior at issue as a nuisance under California law. [Jared McClain, Washington Legal Foundation]


  • $1 billion/year? A quick search indicates that Coke only spends ~$500 million/year on advertising in the US. In the highly unlikely event this effort succeeded, we’d be bombarded with messages from this campaign everywhere.

    • But of course you are assuming all that money would go to advertising. Think of the lawyer fees and administrative fees, and salaries, etc. The actual ad money would probably be closer to Coke’s;-)

  • Stephen L. Joseph, the Dunning-Kruger Effect is strong in this one!

  • I suppose there’s precedent – tobacco companies have to pay for anti-smoking campaigns.

    • … because their product is harmful when used as intended. Cell phones are not intended to be used while driving any more than novels, sex toys, or ouija boards.

  • Nincompoopery aggravates my angina. Where’s my class action?

  • That’s simply not how the law works, and as a member of the bar, Mr. Joseph should know better. The California Bar and the Los Angeles Superior Court should demand better.


    The most absurd part of the complaint may be the section on standing, which includes a two-page list of Mr. Joseph’s past accomplishments. This list is illustrative—not of Mr. Joseph’s competence as an attorney, but of his true aim. The list does not include a single verdict in Mr. Joseph’s favor. Instead, it references his past efforts to use lawsuits in order to wage PR campaigns against corporations, force settlements, and prompt action by the legislative and executive branches of government.


    A two-page list of past lawsuits he’s failed at, he’s filing yet another, and you claim he “should know better”. Seems to me he knows better than you do how the system works – or fails to work. Maybe somebody should file a lawsuit against the California Bar Association and/or the LA Superior Court for failing to do their jobs and allowing this sort of thing to go on.