N.J. court: Text sender can be held liable in crash

TRENTON, N.J. — A New Jersey court has ruled that a person who knowingly sends a text to a driver can be liable if the driver causes an accident.

Tuesday’s ruling came in the case of a couple severely injured when their motorcycle was hit by a teenager who was texting while driving in 2009.

The injured couple settled their suit against the driver for $500,000. They also sued his girlfriend, who had sent him a text message.


The appeals court said someone who texts a motorist can potentially be liable if the sender knows that the recipient will be viewing the text while driving.

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Nevertheless, the judges upheld a lower court’s ruling that dismissed the lawsuit against the girlfriend. The court said the couple did not show evidence the girl knew her boyfriend was driving or would look at her text.

Associated Press