Texting while driving is a highly dangerous practice, and, in a one incident of texting while driving inn September 2009, Kyle Best of Wharton, New Jersey veered outside of his lane and hit a couple riding a motorcycle. David and Lynda Kubert of Dover, NJ, the couple Kyle hit, both lost a leg in the accident. The Kuberts filed a lawsuit against Best, and Best pleaded guilty earlier this year of using a hand-held cellphone while driving, failure to maintain a lane, and careless driving.
Initially, the Kuberts only sued Best, but now Kubert’s lawyer, Stephen Weinstein, amended the lawsuit to include Best’s girlfriend, Shannon Colonna. Colonna was 19 at the time of the accident and is now being sued as someone who aided Best’s negligence even though she was not present in the vehicle because she texted him several times as he drove.
USA Today reports that cell phone records showed that the pair exchanged texts seconds before the crash. Colonna’s lawyer, Joseph McGlone, argued that “the sender of a text has the right to assume that the recipient will read it at a safe time…It’s not fair. It’s not reasonable. Shannon Colonna has no way to control when Kyle Best is going to read that message.” “In a deposition,” USA Today continues, “Colonna said she didn’t know whether Best was driving when she texted him after work. But she also said she may have known.”
Best said that right before the crash, he did look down to see who had texted him. As punishment, Best has been ordered to speak to the students of 14 high schools about the dangers of texting and driving and to pay almost $800 in fines.
Superior Court Judge David Rand threw out the case, though, saying, “I find that there was no aiding, abetting here in the legal sense.”