Can You Be Sued If a Driver Reading Your Text Message Causes a Car Crash?

Judge in New Jersey to decide Friday if woman whose boyfriend seriously injured a couple in an auto accident while reading her text message can be added to lawsuit.


One of the big advantages of sending a text message as compared to an e-mail is that the text pops up on the front of someone's cellphone immediately.

So can you be held liable if the person reading that message loses control of a vehicle and injures someone?

A New Jersey judge says he will rule on that question Friday in a case involving a Dover couple who each lost a leg after their motorcycle was struck by a driver allegedly reading a text message.

According to the Daily Record, court records show that Kyle Best, who was 18 at the time, and his girlfriend, Shannon Colonna, exchanged numerous text messages on the day of the crash, including one sent just before he lost control of his pickup truck near Montville and struck a motorcycle ridden by David and Linda Kubert.

David Kubert told CBS News that it was obvious that Best was reading a text message at the time of the crash. "What I saw was a gentlemen in the truck steering with his elbows, with his head down," Kubert said. "And I could tell he was text messaging."

But the Kuberts also want to hold Colanna responsible for contributing to the crash, and have asked the judge to add her to the lawsuit.

Best's lawyer, Joseph McGlone, said that is going too far.

"Shannon Colonna has no way to control when Kyle Best is going to read that message," he told the Daily Record.

What do you think?

Joan May 27, 2012 at 01:03 PM
I agree with you. I send texts to friends and family. Sorry, but I don't carry a crystal ball to see if they're driving. UMMM who else can we blame for OUR ignorance. Maybe it's time to own up people!
GT is my home May 27, 2012 at 02:10 PM
He should have knew better then answering the text message while he was driving. It's the law.
tomas May 29, 2012 at 01:46 AM
So why would the sender get in trouble?
Curious George June 10, 2012 at 12:50 PM
GT...If you would spend less time texting and more time reading real writing, you might have more credibility when you decide to post.
Wheres Waldo June 13, 2012 at 06:50 PM
Just don't answer ur phone unless its an emergency


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