Can a Third Party Texter Be Held as “Negligent” in an Automobile Accident?

In a May 25, 2012 New Jersey Law Journal article written by Mary Pat Gallagher entitled:No Liability Found for Sending Texts to Driver Just Before Crash, a New Jersey Judge held that one can NOT be sued for allegedly helping to cause an accident by texting a driver in a vehicle.

On Sept. 21, 2009, Kyle Best, then 19, was driving his pickup truck on his way home from teaching a swim class at the West Morris YMCA in Randolph when he lost control, crossed the yellow line in Mine Hill and hit David and Linda Kubert on their motorcycle.

The Kuberts claimed that because Best was answering a text from her when he lost control, Colonna was electronically present in Best’s pickup truck and thus, also at fault. They alleged that Colonna knew or should have known that Best was driving when she sent the text. She testified at her deposition that she “may have known.”

While the Kubert’s claim against the negligent driver (Best) is still intact, the person sending the text has no liability in the accident.


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