Let's understand the REAL issue here; the PATENT prevented everyone else from implementing a safety.
(Hyperbolic emphasis removed.)
I presume you mean "safety feature." In that case, you need to also understand that the fellow was using Apple's products and functionality, so their electing to implement or not implement the feature and thus blocking anyone else from developing the same has no bearing. You might also want to look at other instances where one company has patented some feature or product and that did not block other companies from producing highly similar features or products based on alternate implementations. There are many, many instances and examples of such cases. At the same time, we don't know that Apple, electing to not implement the patent, had not been approached to license the IP by manufacturers who wanted to implement the feature on their hardware. The argument you are proposing is that having a patent irrevocably blocks any development along a given line of inquiry, and that assumption is not exactly correct. Rather not, in fact.
Apple is being sued in this case, we might readily presume, because they have deeper pockets than anyone else, certainly deeper than the driver who so unfortunately caused the accident by his negligence to the task at hand of keeping his attention to the road. I suspect the suit will not succeed, and hope that the family can be brought some solace by owning all future wages ever earned by the liable driver.