Car Accident Texting Lawsuit, Another Text Message Sender Named as Defendant
A New Jersey couple who were riding their motorcycle at the time were hit by a car in 2009 are now suing a woman for her part in her at-fault boyfriend’s motorcycle-car accident , who was repeatedly sending text messages to her boyfriend as drove his vehicle to work
The accident victims David and Linda Kubert of Dover, N.J., were initially filing a civil suit only against the driver, Kyle Best of Wharton, N.J.
On September 21, 2009, Best’s vehicle veered across the roadway’s center dividing line, causing a violent head-on collision with the Kubert’s motorcycle. A sad fact remains true both of the Kuberts lost a leg in the collision
Earlier this year in Montville Municipal Court, Best pleaded guilty to using a cellphone (reading and replying to text messages from his girlfriend) while operating his vehicle, failure to stay in his lane and careless driving.
The Kuberts have now amended their lawsuit to include the then 19-year-old Shannon Colonna, for contributing to Kyle Best’s negligence, even though she was not physically present in the vehicle.
In deposition Colonna stated that she was not sure whether Best was driving at the time she was texting him, but authorities believe she may have known.
Shannon Colonna’s defense attorney rebutted:
“The sender of the text has the right to assume the recipient will read it at a safe time. It’s not fair. It’s not reasonable. Shannon Colonna has no way to control when Kyle Best is going to read that message.”
Kyle Best was legally reprimanded to speak to approximately 14 high schools about the perils of texting while driving. Additionally he was fined $775.00 for his traffic offense.
The Kuberts’ lawyer stated:
“The defendant may not have been physically present, but she was electronically present.”
Superior Court Judge David Rand has to rule as to whether or not to keep Ms. Colonna in the lawsuit. This decision will be made within a week.
This story is particularly compelling because it involves the possible placing of negligence on a party that was not physically present at the time of the car accident, but was rather, electronically present, as the Kuberts’ attorney has explained.
As a Prescott AZ and Phoenix AZ car accident attorney, I want you to be aware that texting type accidents are rapidly becoming commonplace. I urge you to speak to your children about the obvious dangers of texting while driving and not so obvious texting a friend while they may be driving. Let them know they can cause an accident and not even be present in the car and could be held liable. But even worse is the fact that the motorcycle victims each lost a leg.
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