There's no question that driving and texting at the same time is dangerous and illegal. But a lawsuit in New Jersey filed by a couple who were the victims of a texting accident blamed not only the distracted driver who caused it, but also the person who was texting him at the time, CNN reports.

Kyle Best, who was 18 at the time of the accident in 2009, was driving on a rural highway when Shannon Colonna, the 17-year-old girl he was dating, sent him a text. Best allegedly was reading the text when he crossed the double-yellow line and drifted into a lane of opposing traffic. He hit David and Linda Kubert, who were riding a motorcycle. They were injured and lost their legs.

The Kuberts filed suit against Best and Colonna and argued that if she knew that Best was driving when she texted him, she also was responsible for the accident. The Kuberts ended up settling with Best and lost to Colonna, which they appealed. Apparently they left an impression on three appeals court judges who agreed with the principle behind the Kuberts' appeal, but prosecutors couldn't prove that Colonna knew Best was driving when she texted him, so she was free to go.

Here's what the court reportedly said: We hold that the sender of a text message can potentially be liable if an accident is caused by texting, but only if the sender knew or had special reason to know that the recipient would view the text while driving and thus be distracted.

For what it's worth, this is the state that just rejected a vanity license plate application that read "ATHEIST."

New Jersey governor Chris Christie disagrees with the appeals court judges who said a text sender like Colonna could be held accountable for a car accident. He says it's the driver's responsibility to keep his or her hands on the wheel and pay attention to what's happening on the road. We have to agree with Christie on this one.



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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 70 Comments
      j
      • 1 Year Ago
      This is about as absurd as scientists being held accountable in Italy for not foretelling earthquakes.
      OptimusPrimeRib
      • 1 Year Ago
      Now if I'm driving and I see an ad that catches my attention and crash, can I sue the ad company? This is the dumbest thing I've heard in a while and there has been some dumb things flying around lately. Another way to delegate in the United States of Point the Finger At Somebody Else.
        GroceryGetter06
        • 1 Year Ago
        @OptimusPrimeRib
        YES! Who will be the first to sue those God Billboards..are those still up?
        mikeybyte1
        • 1 Year Ago
        @OptimusPrimeRib
        Yes, and apparently as of the time I post this, 13.7% of the voters agree with that statement. Welcome to America, where personal responsibility does not exist.
      Alexander Sambuco
      • 1 Year Ago
      I see a major flaw in this reasoning. How can they prove that the sender knew the driver would a) be driving and b)that they would look at the text while driving? I send texts to people when they are driving so they can reply when they get to their destination.
        kp
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Alexander Sambuco
        The fact it is difficult to prove doesn't make it a flaw in reasoning. It just means that it is difficult to prove. Say a driver sends a text to someone that says "I'm texting while driving, and I'm going to read your next text".. and receiver responds, then both parties would be involved and rather stupid.
      lazybeans
      • 1 Year Ago
      Lawsuit against Colonna should've been tossed out and never went to trial. The fact that this even went to trial is absurd.
      BipDBo
      • 1 Year Ago
      "We hold that the sender of a text message can potentially be liable if an accident is caused by texting, but only if the sender knew or had special reason to know that the recipient would view the text while driving and thus be distracted." NO, NO , NO! If I send a text, it's like an email. It can be opened and read at any time. The recipient has no obligation to read it immediately. The person behind the wheel is fully responsible for safe driving. What next, prosecuting pretty women joggers?
      sixsix
      • 1 Year Ago
      It's very alarming that any person would vote "Yes". That's grounds for immediate deportation. Seriously. 13.5% is a LOT of people. 1984 here we come! (for those that don't understand the reference google 1984 book)
      rbnhd1144
      • 1 Year Ago
      Drivers who use cell phones are MORONS, its that simple, I have a cell phone and never use it while the key is in the ignition, It appears I have more respect for your life then you do for yourself. I just hope people on cell phones injure themselves and not other innocent people, its time people had a little common sense, I know people will moan at me, but thats because they feel superior and very capable, like I say I hope they learn their lesson, Id sooner see them suffer the concequences than other innocent people. I was hit by a driver using a cell phone I'm speaking from experience, tomorrow a call or text will ruin someones life, Think about it. I think all responsibility lies with the driver who picks up the cell phone.
      KaBoomBOX
      • 1 Year Ago
      The problem with this logic is that there is no way to know that the person you are sending the text to is driving. Are you supposed to call them to ask if you can send them a text? Wouldn't that be distracting as well? Ultimately, it is the driver who is reaponsible, as they should know that the text or call can wait until they reach their destination.
      Jay
      • 1 Year Ago
      This doesn't even make sense. People text me all the time while I am driving, but guess what, It's my choice to wait until I'm in a safe location to read and respond to them. That's the great thing about a text, you can wait and respond at your convenience.
      Michaele
      • 1 Year Ago
      Just another confirmation lawyers are the lowest form of life on earth, lower than smegma.
        OptimusPrimeRib
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Michaele
        But above politicians. They write the stupid laws that lawyers can play with.
      Jason
      • 1 Year Ago
      No, that's simply going too far.
      Time
      • 1 Year Ago
      Haha what a world we live in...so if laws like these become more common we might aswell also arrest all bar owners where a drunk driver was drinking...maybe even sue the mobile companies that made phones that drivers can use and ooh lets not forget to sue the network carries for allowing there to be signal in the roads. Oh ya, and also sue the parents of the texting drivers as they did pay for the persons education that allowed them to read..then again, we may have to sue the government too for providing education... Or, as "crazy" at it seemingly sounds, just arrest the dumbass that decided to pick up their phone whislt doing 100 and make sure they don't get away with a simple slap on the wrist.
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