Judge Rules Text Sender Not Liable for Crash
Recently, I wrote about a groundbreaking legal case where a woman was named in a lawsuit for sending text messages to her friend when he caused a serious accident. A judge just ruled that Shannon Colonna could not be held responsible for the damage caused when Kyle Best caused a terrible accident in Mine Hill, New Jersey in 2009.
Attorney Stephen Weinstein represents David and Linda Kubert. The Kuberts were seriously injured when Best hit their motorcycle head on, and each lost their left legs. Weinstein argued that Colonna was partially responsible for the accident because she should have known that Best was driving at the time she was sending him text messages.
Colonna’s attorney argued that his client did not have any control over where and when Best received her text messages, and whether or not he would respond. State Superior Court Judge David Rand agreed with Colonna’s attorney, and dismissed the charges against her.
Best has already pleaded guilty to distracted driving in the incident. His driver’s license was not suspended, but he had to speak to 14 high schools about the dangers of distracted driving. He also had to pay a $775 fine.
Weinstein said he and his clients will appeal the decision, and said “even though the case against Shannon Colonna has been dismissed, they are gratified that if by bringing the case they have accomplished the goal of making people think before they text, whether while driving or while the recipient is driving.”
It is not surprising that the judge dismissed the charges against Colonna, as there is no way to prove she knew she was sending texts to Best while he was driving. But the Kuberts’ attorney is right, this case certainly will make anyone think twice about sending text messages to someone they know is driving at the time.