The University of St. Thomas

Liability of a sender of text message to a driver

Published on: Monday, September 9th, 2013

Minnesota State § 169.475 stipulates that”No person may operate a motor vehicle while using a wireless communications device to compose, read, or send an electronic message, when the vehicle is in motion or a part of traffic.” That pertains to the driver. What about if you send a text to a driver who responds to your message and then gets him/herself in an accident, will you be held liable for the resulting injury? In Minnesota, no case has come up yet. But in New Jersey, the answer depends on whether the sender knew or had special reason to know that the recipient would view the text while driving and thus be distracted. If you are interested in the case, read on…

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