A couple from New Jersey, that was hit by a car in 2009 in while they rode their motorcycle are now suing a woman, who repeatedly text messaged her boyfriend as drove his vehicle to work, for her part in her at-fault boyfriend's motorcycle-car accident.
David and Linda Kubert of Dover, N.J., who both lost a leg in the collision, were initially bringing a civil suit only against the driver, Kyle Best of Wharton, N.J.
On September 21, 2009, Best's vehicle veered across the roadway's center dividing line, causing a violent head-on collision with the Kubert's motorcycle.
Earlier this year in Montville Municipal Court, Best pleaded guilty to using a cellphone while operating his vehilce, careless driving, and failure to maintain in his lane.
The Kuberts have now amended their lawsuit to include the then 19-year-old Shannon Colonna, for aiding in Best's negligence, even though she was not physically present in the vehicle.
Colonna stated in a deposition that she did not know for sure whether Best was driving at the time she was texting him, but that she may have known.
Her attorney stated in her defense:
"The sender of the text has the right to assume 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 addition to paying $775 in fines for his traffic offense, Best was made to speak to 14 high schools about the perils of texting and driving.
The Kuberts' lawyer stated:
"She may not have been physically present, but she was electronically present."
A decision will be made on Friday by Superior Court Judge David Rand as to whether or not to keep Colonna in the lawsuit.
As a Phoenix accident attorney, you see accidents like this one on a daily basis.
This story is particularly compelling because it involves the possible placing of negligence on a party that was not physically present at the time of the car accident, but was rather, electronically present, as the Kuberts' attorney has explained.
Our accident law firm in Phoenix will keep you updated as this trial progresses.