You Be the Judge: The Case of the Second Texter

Is the person who sends a distracting text just as responsible for 
a car accident?

By Vicki Glembocki
Also in Reader's Digest Magazine April 2014

steering wheel phone

Noma Bar for Reader’s Digest

The Verdict:

In May 2012, in a Morris County courtroom packed with reporters and TV cameras, a trial judge dismissed the case against Shannon Colonna, noting that drivers are ultimately responsible for controlling their vehicles. The Kuberts appealed. In August 2013, the appellate court upheld the ruling to dismiss the complaint against Colonna but disagreed with the trial court’s opinion on remote texters: “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 that the recipient would view the text while driving and thus be distracted.” Weinstein, the Kuberts’ attorney, filed an appeal with the Supreme Court but later withdrew it. “The decision by the appeals court changed the law,” he explained. “Texting someone you know is driving is now a crime. We wanted it to stay that way.”

Was justice served? Let us know in the comments.

Noma Bar for Reader’s Digest

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