x PhoneArena is looking for new authors! To view all available positions, click here.
  • Home
  • News
  • Judge rules text sender not liable in crash that cost two victims a leg each

Judge rules text sender not liable in crash that cost two victims a leg each

Posted: , by Alan F.

Tags:

Judge rules text sender not liable in crash that cost two victims a leg each
A judge in New Jersey state Superior Court in Morris County found that a New Jersey woman who had sent a text to her boyfriend was not liable for the subsequent crash that occurred when her boyfriend crashed his car into a motorcycle while reading her text message. The accident claimed one leg from each of the two riders on the bike. 38 states have a ban on texting while driving, but the legal theory in this case was novel

The Kuberts

The Kuberts

Back on September 21st, 2009 David and Linda Kubert were riding their motorcycle in Mine Hill, N.J. when a Chevy truck driven by Kyle Best swerved over the center line and hit the Kuberts head-on. As the truck approached them, David Kuber noticed that the driver was, "steering with his elbows, with his head down. And I could tell he was text messaging." The message that Best was responding to while driving had been sent to him by his girlfriend, Shannon Colonna. In the accident, David Kubert had his left leg torn off above the knee, while Linda Kubert eventually had her left leg amputated. This has become too common as 24% of  vehicle crashes can be blamed on the use of a mobile handset while driving, according to government statistics.

Kyle plead guilty to three motor vehicle violations, including using a handheld device while driving. The Kuberts were suing him in civil court and for the first time in legal history, the Kubert's attorney also sued Ms. Colonna for sending Mr. Best the text messages. The theory is that her texts distracted him and according to Skippy Weinstein, the Kubert's attorney, Ms. Colonna.should have known her boyfriend was driving home when she sent the texts. She admitted that she "may have known" he was driving at the time she sent the text messages. That day, the pair sent each other 62 messages.

The bike after the crash

The bike after the crash

The judge disagreed with the Kuberts and found Shannon Colonna not liable (since it was a civil case, the defendant is found either liable or not liable). Attorney Weinstein said that he found it interesting that during her deposition, Colonna said about texting while driving, "This is what teenagers do." He had argued that she was "electronically present," at the scene of the accident. The Judge thought otherwise. The question now is how much of a precedent this ruling will become and we will see if other attorneys sue the actual text sender in other civil cases as a result of this suit.

source: KKTV via Textually.org



34 Comments
  • Options
    Close




posted on 26 May 2012, 07:57

1. PhoneArenaUser (Posts: 5478; Member since: 05 Aug 2011)


Total nonsense!

posted on 26 May 2012, 08:13 9

2. metoyou (Posts: 277; Member since: 19 Oct 2011)


I agree with the judge this time. just like how can casino responsible for gambler? or mcD responsible for "over sized" people
Sender didn't ask him to read and response her text message when he's driving. He can by stop his vehicle and do whatever he wanna do but not road. common sense no?

posted on 26 May 2012, 08:22 1

4. ajac09 (Posts: 1367; Member since: 30 Sep 2009)


I do agree with the judge but your examples:

MC donalds and fast food is addicting believe it or not. Like a drug and in some circles some law makers think they are liable. They have the right to choose to go there and all but if its addicing its addicing and most people start the addiction as children
Casions the same way. Feeding on personal issues. There are ALOT of people wtih gambling problems on this planet and casion's feed off it. are they liable? depends on how they push it. The casion's around here all the time have specials and concerts and other stuff to draw people in.

Now the texting. Sender should have 0 liability. What if the sender happened to be AT&T or his carirer alerting someone though? would the judge think other wise because they are big business? makes you think dont it?

posted on 26 May 2012, 09:46 10

7. metoyou (Posts: 277; Member since: 19 Oct 2011)


No one ask you to eat McD, no one stick gun at you to force you to play at the Casino, Knowing they are addicting and you still play or eat McD (in your case) is pure stupid
case closed!

posted on 26 May 2012, 09:49 2

8. Firedrops (Posts: 215; Member since: 06 Sep 2011)


No one forced you to take grammar lessons, but you should start soon.

posted on 26 May 2012, 14:42 2

15. parkwaydr (Posts: 572; Member since: 07 Sep 2011)


People like you are what's wrong with todays society, you want to blame everyone else and no one wants to take responsibility for thier actions. Fast food is not addicting, its a cater to the majorities pure laziness. Every just wants to take the easy route, and then they blame fast food when they wake up weighing 300+ pounds, people are not forced to gamble, they gamble because they are not financially responsible. I'm tired of hearing all this " its a disease" non sense that floats around now a days.

posted on 26 May 2012, 16:00 2

21. cepcamba (Posts: 717; Member since: 27 Feb 2012)


Well, actually, I wanna blame nuttela for making me an addict. D@mn I always have it on my grocery lists. Nuttela what did you do to me! I'm suing you!

posted on 26 May 2012, 16:00 1

20. iami67 (Posts: 318; Member since: 18 Oct 2011)


If you want to say its mcd's fault and casinos fault cause there addicting well im addicted to texting. True story bro. If you text me i cant help myself but to text back imediatley i cant wait even a second its a bad addiction. plus my mother always taught me to be polite and if you text me and i dont text for like a half hour thats rude i cant be rude like that. So the woman who texted me is more at fault then me the driver she knows I have this addiction and cant help it. Ofcourse anyone with commonsense knows im talking silly to show how silly addictions are. there all mind sets that people use as an excuse to do drugs smoke or be lazy and fat. You gonna tell me next time I get into an accident I can be like " Its not my fault its the girl I saw at tjhe beach yesterday its her fault she was wearing that outfit I cant do anything but think about her and picture that outfit in my head. Yes I am a sex addict thats why i got into the accident blame her for making me think about her. " Idiots lol

posted on 28 May 2012, 08:46

32. jroc74 (Posts: 4738; Member since: 30 Dec 2010)


Drugs are addicting, right? I agree. I have yet to do cocaine or any hard drug available. I have smoked some weed before. Once ....in about 20 years.

I am a drinker tho. But I havent had anything in months. Because its my choice to not drink right now.

Looking at ads, movies, videos doesnt make me wanna go out and smoke or drink. People need to take more responsibility.

On one final note....I do like McDonalds. But after that Pink Sludge story.....I dont that much. I havent had any hambuger in months. Now its chicken n fish.

People need to take more responsibility.

posted on 28 May 2012, 08:38

31. jroc74 (Posts: 4738; Member since: 30 Dec 2010)


E X A C T L Y!!!

The right person was at fault. Did anyone hold a gun to his head and say READ HER TXET, RIGHT NOW!!!

How in the world did they even come up her being at fault too???

Do we blame a car that can do 195mph for a person speeding? He chose to read her text at that time, while driving, he didnt have to. He coulda stopped first if it was really important.

posted on 26 May 2012, 08:18 5

3. good2great (Posts: 1039; Member since: 22 Feb 2012)


That's horrible what happened to those people...

posted on 26 May 2012, 09:23 2

5. InspectorGadget80 (Posts: 6477; Member since: 26 Mar 2011)


How the heck you send a text while on your bike?

posted on 26 May 2012, 10:11 12

9. twenti7 (Posts: 152; Member since: 09 Jul 2011)


How the heck you comment on an article without reading it?

posted on 26 May 2012, 12:19 1

11. Mxyzptlk (Posts: 3513; Member since: 21 Apr 2012)


Because it flew completely over his head.

posted on 26 May 2012, 12:21

12. Mxyzptlk (Posts: 3513; Member since: 21 Apr 2012)


Go Go Gadget comprehension. The article mentioned nothing about texting on the motorocycle.

posted on 26 May 2012, 09:41 6

6. dragonscourgex (Posts: 307; Member since: 16 Jan 2012)


Good call judge. I would have to disagree with you Aj. A person has free will to choose to eat at McDonald or go gamble. People that make these excuses that they are addicting and such just do not want to admit fault and the lawyer are looking to increase their bank accounts

posted on 26 May 2012, 10:12 5

10. skymitch89 (Posts: 1061; Member since: 05 Nov 2010)


I agree with the judged that Kyle Best is the sole person responsible for the incident and that Shannon Colonna has no responsibly. Yes, it is Shannon Colonna's fault that Kyle Best was texting, but he had the choice of to read and respond to her texts or not. When I get texts while driving, I wait until I'm stopped at a red light to read/respond or I pull off to the side of the road. I find texting while driving fairly challenging, considering I've only been driving for about 8 months and have a 5 speed.

posted on 26 May 2012, 14:12

13. DigitalBoy05 (Posts: 202; Member since: 04 Jun 2011)


Shannon is not at any fault whatsoever. It's bad timing on her part but its Kyle's fault because KYLE was texting. People need to grow a pair and take responsibility for their actions for better or worse. The legal system does not exist to play the blame game.

posted on 27 May 2012, 08:09 1

26. -box- (Posts: 3797; Member since: 04 Jan 2012)


The nice thing about a text is that it is viewable at a later time, whereas a phone call is live and takes much more concentration, rather than recognizing that one has a text and making a mental note to check it when it is safe to do so. The Mythbusters episode about distracted vs. drunk driving was a good illustration of this.

posted on 26 May 2012, 14:13 1

14. tward291 (Posts: 559; Member since: 14 Feb 2012)


If American cars were manual instead of auto this would not be a problem

posted on 26 May 2012, 16:02 1

22. iami67 (Posts: 318; Member since: 18 Oct 2011)


You are wrong I garuntee more people would be in accidents cause on top of everything there doing now they be shifting as well.. DUH

posted on 26 May 2012, 18:55 1

24. theBankRobber (Posts: 647; Member since: 22 Sep 2011)


Um we do have manual cars , when you buy a car, you have the option for auto or manual. Its your pick but most people do prefer auto over manual .

posted on 27 May 2012, 08:15

27. -box- (Posts: 3797; Member since: 04 Jan 2012)


Besides, there is less inventive for non-enthusiasts to purchase a manual transmission (sadly IMHO) because automatics are providing better mileage, thanks to better and more gears and ratios (and CVTs) and "manu-matic" transmissions, which let the driver shift if they want, but don't have to.

posted on 26 May 2012, 14:46 1

16. parkwaydr (Posts: 572; Member since: 07 Sep 2011)


It's good the judge ruled that way, this was just another case of people not taking responsibility for themselves.

posted on 26 May 2012, 14:50

17. Bluesky02 (Posts: 1439; Member since: 05 Dec 2011)


Wait for me, not kill him

posted on 26 May 2012, 14:52

18. Bluesky02 (Posts: 1439; Member since: 05 Dec 2011)


Or
Kill him not, wait for me

posted on 26 May 2012, 15:47 1

19. networkdood (Posts: 6267; Member since: 31 Mar 2010)


Kyle is guilty, but his girlfriend is not - she was not at the accident and the bf could have waited to read the message....

posted on 26 May 2012, 16:13

23. novasians (Posts: 11; Member since: 26 May 2012)


If you take your eyes off the road to respond to a text message, or put on your make up, or look at a hottie on the side of the road, you would be liable for any accidents caused by you. End of discussion.

There will always be all sorts of distraction when it comes to driving and staying focus behind the wheel.

posted on 26 May 2012, 19:51 1

25. tedkord (Posts: 4757; Member since: 17 Jun 2009)


I sympathize with the people who were hit, and lost a leg. That's terrible, and I hope they find some peace.

That said, how can you blame the person who sent the text? The person who read it, absolutely, but the sender? That's just silly in the extreme, and the lawyer who pushed this suit should be fined heavily, and maybe disbarred. Start punishing lawyers for frivolous cases, and watch them dry up.

It's nice to see common sense prevail in a court case (not for the first time the past week or so)

posted on 27 May 2012, 08:18

28. -box- (Posts: 3797; Member since: 04 Jan 2012)


Interesting idea. It would mean apple would have to get a new team of lawyers after each lawsuit and pay fines for wasting the courts' time and effort

posted on 28 May 2012, 08:49

33. jroc74 (Posts: 4738; Member since: 30 Dec 2010)


Yea the lawyer who came up with this idea. ....makes lawyers look bad.

posted on 27 May 2012, 20:12

29. BattleBrat (Posts: 1071; Member since: 26 Oct 2011)


This is why everyone needs one of those pebble watches, you can just look at your wrist to read incoming texts, on an Android phone ha ha ha ha ha! (iphones according to the pebble folk, doesn't give up that information.)

posted on 27 May 2012, 20:20

30. crysiswarmonger (Posts: 78; Member since: 06 Feb 2012)


I would sue the motorcyclists. Why?

If they were driving safer vehicle, they would not have been hurt so badly.

posted on 28 May 2012, 08:50

34. jroc74 (Posts: 4738; Member since: 30 Dec 2010)


Might as well say this....if they wanna try to blame the person who sent the text....lol.

Want to comment? Please login or register.

Latest stories