Woman Being Sued For Sending Text To Driver Involved In Reckless Driving Case

Levi Murphy

In an unprecedented case, a woman who was texting a driver involved in an accident is being sued by victims of the accident.

Though texting while driving is illegal in 38 states, a pending court case in New Jersey may decide whether the same legal consequences would apply to texting someone who is driving.

Kyle Best was behind the wheel of his pick up truck in 2009 when he was involved in an accident while replying to a text that had been sent by Shannon Colonna. He drifted into the opposing lane while trying to reply and crashed into the motorcycle of David and Linda Kubert reports the Huffington Post.

As a result of the collision, both David and Linda Kubert sustained serious injury, including both losing their left legs. They brought a suit against Best, who was 19 at the time of the accident.

The Kubert's attorney, "Skippy" Weinstein, has also expanded the complaint to include Colonna, telling ABC News:

"They were texting back and forth like a verbal conversation. She may not have been physically present, but she was electronically present."

Colonna's lawyer, Joseph McGlone, argues that their is no grounds for Colonna to be part of the suit and has asked Morris County Superior Court Judge David Rand to dismiss charges against his client as she owed no legal duty of care under the facts of the case.

McGlone argued there was no ruling anywhere in the country that the sender of a text is liable if the the receiver causes injury while reading it, stating:

"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."

A time sequence of the exchanged texts show Best was the last to text before the crash.

Best pleaded guilty earlier this year to three motor vehicle summonses due to the crash, including using a hand-held cellphone while driving, careless driving and failure to maintain a lane. His license was not suspended. He was was fined $775 and ordered to speak to 14 high schools on the dangers of texting and driving.

Judge Rand is expected to make his ruling on May 25 about Colonna’s potential liability in the accident.