A New Jersey appeals court has found a person who knowingly sends a text to a driver can share liability if a driver receiving the text message causes an accident. The ruling last month was in the case of a couple who lost both their legs when their motorcycle was hit by a teenager who was texting and driving in Morris County, N.J., in 2009. The motorists sued the driver and also his girlfriend who sent him text messages. The claim against the girlfriend was dismissed by the trial court. The appeals court upheld that lower court ruling.
The appeals court said that normally a person who texts a motorist can’t be held liable for the driver’s negligent actions. But the court did say, however, that the texter has a duty to refrain from texting if he or she knows the recipient is driving a car and likely to read the message. The injured couple settled their lawsuit against the driver for $500,000, but was unsuccessful in the claim against the texting girlfriend. The court’s opinion indicates that the claim would have been upheld had there been the required proof.
Source: Claims Journal
Contact us today for a free legal consultation with an experienced attorney.
Fields marked *may be required for submission.
If you would like to subscribe to the Jere Beasley Report digital edition, simply visit our Subscriptions page and provide the necessary information or call us at 800-898-2034.
Attorney Advertising - Prior results do not guarantee a similar outcome.