A New Jersey Superior Court Judge recently released a defendant in an automobile accident case. The defendant sent a text message to the driver of a car who allegedly caused the actual accident. Plaintiffs attorney argued that the texter aided and abetted the driver’s negligence by texting him when she knew or should have known he was driving.
The Judge dismissed the claim against the texter, reasoning that holding the texter responsible or partially responsible for the accident would basically open up a Pandoras box when it comes to the types of defendants that plaintiffs attorneys would seek to include in lawsuits. For example, the Judge stated that although the text was a distraction to the driver, drivers are constantly bombarded with distractions at any given moment while driving, and it is ultimately the drivers responsibility to block out those distractions and focus on the road. The Judge stated that if he allowed the text message sender to remain in the case, it would allow plaintiffs attorneys to hold billboard companies responsible for any distraction their advertisements may cause which lead to accidents.
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