A lawsuit in New Jersey is taking a ban on texting while driving to a whole new level. Kyle Best was texting and driving when he caused a serious accident that led to a married couple on a motorcycle losing their left legs. Best is only one party being held responsible in the case – the other is his friend who was texting him.
That’s right, Shannon Colonna who was miles away at the time of the accident, but who was texting Best is being sued. Never before has someone not present during the accident been held liable for the crash.
The now disabled married couple, David and Linda Kubert, believes that both Best and Colonna were responsible for the wreck. Their personal injury attorney Skippy Weinstein is arguing that Colonna knew Best’s schedule and was aware that he was driving. If she knew that he was driving than she shouldn’t have continued to have a conversation with him over text message.
Part of Weinstein’s argument is that a passenger in a car can be held liable if he or she pressures a young driver to act recklessly by speeding or ignoring traffic signs. Colonna was in essence encouraging his behavior and they were texting within seconds the accident.
Of course on the other side, Colonna’s attorney Joseph McGlone is pointing out that she wasn’t physically present and so couldn’t control Best’s actions.
Is the texter responsible for something the other person does?
This lawsuit, even if it sounds strange, is actually asking very important questions – How real are our digital conversations? Does what we text or type hold as much weight as what we would say face-to-face?
It will all come down to a Superior Court New Jersey judge’s decision on May 25th when the court will decide whether or not Colonna will be included in the lawsuit. Keep an eye out for the case because even though it’s miles away, a ruling like this could find its way down to the Lone Star State.