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In a Reader’s View
New Jersey Appeals Court Rules That Text Sender Can Be Held Liable
A New Jersey appeals court has ruled that a person who knowingly sends a text to a driver can share liability if the driver causes an accident.
The ruling comes in the case of a couple who lost both their legs when their motorcycle was hit by a teenager who was text-ing and driving in Morris County in 2009.
The motorists sued the driver’s girlfriend, who sent him messages. The judges upheld a lower court ruling that dismissed the lawsuit.
The appeals court said someone who texts a motorist is not liable for the driver’s negligent actions, but the texter has a duty to refrain if the person knows the recipient is driving and likely to read the message.
The injured couple settled their lawsuit against the driver for $500,000.
The story generated some interesting comments from readers. Read a few of the comments below:
The Bigger Lebowski says:
“But the texter has a duty to refrain if the person knows the recipient is driving and likely to read the message.” How ridiculous.
“Growing up I did a lot of stupid things. And when I got in trouble, my punishment would double if I tried to blame someone else (the ‘he started it’ or ‘everybody else was doing it’ defenses). One punishment for my actions and a second for trying to lay-blame somewhere else, because as I heard many times, no one is responsible for your actions except YOU! Individuals in today’s society accept responsibility for NOTHING, and the rest of society encourages it.”
Joe Bigshack says:
“This is crazy … really it’s our fault and not the driver?? I don’t think so. This country is on a fast track to being completely stupid.”
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