Getting Sued For Sending A Text

A New Jersey appellate court recently held that a person who texts a driver who is then involved in an accident may be liable for the injuries and damages caused.  The sender of a text message can potentially be liable if (s)he knew or had special reason to know that the recipient would view the text while driving and thus be distracted.  

A couple riding a motorcycle was injured in an accident with an 18-year old driver texting with his 17-year old girlfriend.  Distracted by the texts, the young man's truck drifted into oncoming traffic.  

The court's opinion should cause employers concern.  Do you do business with a person who is well-known for cell phone use while driving?  Do co-workers text that employee?  Do you ever contract with a company to make deliveries?  Just after the runner leaves, do you text him/her with additional instructions?  Or is one of your employees flirting with someone with whom you do business?  Can you imagine a scenario where your employee, in the scope of employment, texts a person who is distracted by the the phone and is involved in an accident?  It isn't difficult to think of a circumstance where a business could incur liability for texting a driver.