A Republican assemblywoman from Monmouth County plans to introduce legislation to protect texters from being sued if they send a distracting message to a driver who gets into an accident.
The bill, authored by Assemblywoman Caroline Casagrande, comes in response to last week’s groundbreaking decision by two state appeals court judges who said texters who send messages to someone they know is driving have a responsibility to other drivers.
“It is a sad state of affairs when a court believes that someone sending a text message can be held accountable if they have a special reason to know the recipient will be driving a vehicle and then read the message,” Casagrande said. “This legislation puts the responsibility where it belongs – in the front seat with the driver – not with the sender who can be held culpable for something beyond their control.”
Last week’s ruling was the result of an appeal by a couple who were riding a motorcycle through Morris County in September 2009 when they collided with a pickup truck that had just crossed over a double center line. The couple, David and Linda Kubert, each lost a part of a leg in the crash.
They sued driver Kyle Best of Wharton and Shannon Colonna, who sent Best a text message moments before the accident.
A three-judge panel tossed out claims against Colonna, saying there was no evidence to suggest she knew Best was driving. However, two members of the appellate panel said...
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