As a follow-up to last week’s post entitled “Can You Be Liable For Sending A Text Message To Someone Driving?“, the judge in this New Jersey case recently answered the question in the negative. Judge David Rand ruled last week in Morris County Superior Court that the driver’s girlfriend could not be held responsible for negligently distracting her driver boyfriend by sending text messages when she knew (or should have known) that he was driving.
The decision was rendered in a 2009 case in which the 19-year old driver, Kyle Best, allegedly was texting and driving when his pickup truck rear-ended a motorcycle. David and Linda Kubert was on that motorcycle and both tragically lost their left legs as a result. The Kubert’s attorney indicated that he would appeal this decision.
Judge Rand provided the following rationale for his decision: “I find it is unreasonable to impose a duty upon the defendant in this case under these facts. Were I to extend this duty, in my judgment, any form of distraction could potentially serve as basis of a liability case.”
One thing is clear from this un-precedented decision, we have not heard the last of this issue. We will definitely see further court cases involving similar issues.