Google Maps mistake gets wrong Texas house torn down

Years ago, there seemed to be a story almost every week about someone who went into the hospital for, say, knee surgery, and he would come out with the wrong leg repaired. Or, even worse, someone would be slated to have a kidney removed and the doctor would take out the wrong organ.

Welcome to the Digital Age version of that predicament, courtesy of Google Maps.

A home in the Dallas suburb of Rowlett, Texas was demolished by mistake this week after the company hired to take the place down was given the wrong Google Maps address. A home at 7601 Cousteau Dr. in Rowlett was slated for demolition. However, the demolition company, which was using information from Google Maps, mistakenly tore down a house at 7601 Calypso Dr., that was barely a block away from the intended demolition site. The Google Maps result apparently gave the Calypso Dr. address as the one at Cousteau Dr.

To make matters worse for the woman who lived at the Calypso Dr. house, she and her child had to leave their home several months ago after it was damaged by a tornado, and were looking at moving back into the house, soon.

The moral of the story? Maybe dig out that old Thomas Guide to check your address before breaking out the wrecking ball.

Photo: Google’s headquarters. (Bay Area News Group archives).



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  • Work hard, invest wisely.

    It’s the new age. Cashiers can’t calculate change without the cash register telling them. Wrecking crews can’t look at a simple street sign/name, they look at a google map.

    • Larry

      Do they pull up and just knock it down? Shouldn’t someone have been there to verify this?

  • EllaFino

    How much time before some lawyer tries to sue Google over this.

    • Larry

      I’m sure there is some disclosure that users agreed to that would prevent that. Really, the demo company’s insurance should be able to cover that. At least it wasn’t an undamaged home. What isn’t clear is did that family already do repairs?

  • Mauser1895

    Just like when the police SWAT team goes to the wrong house and kill people.

  • pwndecaf

    Seems they missed a step somewhere…

  • Tom

    So my observation is this. This is not Googles fault but the fault of the company who did the demolition. When a property owner tears down a house, a permit is required from the city or county, even Texas. The address demolition is provided on the permit. The company should never used a third party information source given the chance of error and it is lazy not to use the permit information. It may be speed over need. I’m sure this will be born out in court and Google maps Disclaimer will cover matters since they likely warn users about accuracy and it’s use. Also I suspect the demolition company might be in hot water with its insurance company for this practice and will at the very least be facing deservedly much higher rates. Just my two cents.

  • Jared

    Who is going to have to replace this house?

  • Henry Butler

    If you use Google Maps to guide your company to some place that you’re going to do something irreparable to without any other guidance, you deserve the results you get from your stupidity. You might as well just stop a nearby stranger and ask which house around here are we supposed to demolish. Hopefully this company is on the hook for the damages done here and the people wronged will get a new home out of this fiasco.

    • Jen369

      Yeah the jerks deserve the results, but the innocent HOMEOWNERS are the ones that are actually going to get screwed after their house is bulldozed.

    • Jen369

      Yeah the jerks deserve the results, but the innocent HOMEOWNERS are the ones that are actually going to get screwed after their house is bulldozed.

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