Summary Judgment granted in favor of defendant Colonna
“One can’t be sued for allegedly helping to cause an accident by texting a driver, a New Jersey judge held Friday in a widely watched case.In an oral opinion from the bench, Morris County Superior Court Judge David Rand granted summary judgment dismissing civil aiding-and-abetting claims against Shannon Colonna of Rockaway, finding she had no duty of care under the facts of the case, Kubert v. Best, MRS-L-1975-10″ [via N.J. Law Journal].
Key factoid: Best (the driver) initiated the texting conversation with Colonna.
Best texted Colonna at 5:47.56, Colonna texted back at 5:48.23 and he responded at 5:49.07. His call to 9-1-1 about the crash was made at 5:49.15.” [via NJ Law Journal]
The Kubert’s claims against Best remain intact.
NJ Legislature Action
Prior to the outcome of plaintiff’s claim against Colonna, the N.J. Legislature introduced a Bill aimed at penalizing this tragically bad behavior
A-2199, known as “Kulesh, Kubert and Bolis’ Law,” creates an inference that illegal use of a cell phone constitutes reckless driving and increases the penalty for talking on a hand-held phone or texting while driving from $100 to $200 for a first offense to as much as $600 and a 90-day license suspension for a third offense.”