New Jersey Judge Says Texter Outside Vehicle Can’t Be Held Liable

Posted on May 29, 2012

With texting while driving becoming more and more prevalent, all eyes were on New Jersey when a lawsuit was brought against someone who sent a text message that allegedly distracted a driver and caused an accident.  One of the first cases of its kind, the case could have far reaching implications for anyone who texts, regardless of whether they’re behind the wheel or not.

Well, a judge has finally weighed in on the matter, and he has decided that the person responsible for sending the text could not in fact be held liable for the accident which forced two people to undergo limb amputations.  Although an appeal is still possible, the texter is off the hook for now.

The judge ruled that the legal requirements of aiding and abetting were not met in this instance.  He stated that he couldn’t justify ruling in favor of the plaintiffs as regards to this one accused individual, given the numerous other distractions that drivers are required to use sound judgment to avoid, such as billboards, news notifications, and GPS devices.  The judge worried that any such distraction could then beget an accident suit should he have made the opposite ruling.

A Pew Research study was also cited which showed that 18-24 year old adults typically send 110 texts every day.  Such results seem to show that rampant texting has become a reality in today’s society.

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