In a 2009 motorcycle accident, both David Kubert and his wife Linda lost a leg when a distracted driver crashed into them. David's leg was torn off during the wreck and Linda's was later amputated by medical professionals. Neither has worked since the crash. The couple lived in New Jersey at the time but relocated to Florida after the accident.
The Kuberts recently settled their case against the distracted driver, Kyle Best, for the limits of his insurance policy, $500,000. The seriously injured couple also attempted to hold Best's girlfriend, Shannon Colonna, responsible for the crash. She had been texting Best while he was driving, playing a role in creating the distraction that eventually claimed the Kubert's legs.
A New Jersey judge declined to extend liability to Colonna for the distracted driving crash, but the Kubert's plan to appeal. Their attorney is arguing that even though Colonna wasn't in the car at the time, she was 'electronically present' and should have known that Best was driving while reading and responding to her texts. Finding a sender of a text message liable for damage caused by the recipient would simply be an extension of existing civil aiding and abetting laws, further asserts the Kubert's lawyer.
According to cell phone records, Best had sent a text response to Colonna within seconds of dialing 911 following the motorcycle crash. Best pleaded guilty to a criminal charge of distracted driving and must speak to 14 high schools regarding the dangers of texting while driving as part of his sentence.
Source: The Huffington Post, "David And Linda Kubert, Injured By Texting-While-Driving Teen, Settle Lawsuit," August 21, 2012