Landmark texting lawsuit gains attention - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

Landmark texting lawsuit gains attention

Both Kuberts lost a leg in the crash. Both Kuberts lost a leg in the crash.
They are now suing the then 18 year old driver, and his girlfriend for sending him messages. They are now suing the then 18 year old driver, and his girlfriend for sending him messages.
Cape Girardeau Police Officer Darin Hickey says it's a wake up call. Cape Girardeau Police Officer Darin Hickey says it's a wake up call.
"We've gotta be able to prove it that they were texting while driving," said Hickey. "We've gotta be able to prove it that they were texting while driving," said Hickey.
Cape Girardeau County Prosecutor Morley Swingle believes this case has a chance in civil court. Cape Girardeau County Prosecutor Morley Swingle believes this case has a chance in civil court.
CAPE GIRARDEAU, MO (KFVS) -

It's a heads up for anyone who sends a text message, whether you're behind the wheel of a car or not.

They're calling it a landmark lawsuit. A case out of New Jersey might make you think twice next time you pick up your phone.

If you're texting while driving, and you get into an accident it's your fault.

What about the person who was texting with you?

One young woman is learning a pretty tough lesson.

"This is a senseless crash that didn't have to happen," said David Kubert. 

In the amount of time it takes to send a text message David and Linda Kubert's lives were changed forever.

The accident photos tell the story. In September of 2009, a pickup crossed the center line hitting their motorcycle head on.

"I saw the truck coming right for us.," said David Kubert. "What I saw was a gentleman in the truck steering with his elbows, with his head down I could tell he was text messaging."

Both Kuberts lost a leg in the crash. They are now suing the then 18 year old driver, and his girlfriend for sending him messages while he was driving distracting him.

Phone records show they exchanged 62 texts that day.

"I believe that if she knew he was driving and answering her back with texts, she was partially responsible too," said Linda Kubert. 

Cape Girardeau County Prosecutor Morley Swingle believes this case has a chance in civil court.

"I think it does," said Swingle. 

It's all about proving negligence.

"You could argue to a jury this person was not using reasonable amount of care by continuing that conversation with her boyfriend knowing he was driving," said Swingle. 

Cape Girardeau Police Officer Darin Hickey says it's a wake up call.

"Ought to be a check for us, let's pay attention and be more careful," said Hickey. 

Right now it's against the law in Missouri for anyone 21 or younger to text and drive.

It's a hard law for police to enforce.

"We've gotta be able to prove it that they were texting while driving," said Hickey. 

Even though officers know it's happening constantly.

"It's a full time thing when I'm driving," said Ashley Stratman.

Some say the New Jersey lawsuit against the woman who sent the text messages that caused the crash is unfair.

"I don't think it's her fault at all," said Emily Rivet. 

"I think it's going too far," said Emily Dailey. 

"She shouldn't get in trouble, it's completely wrong," said Ashley Stratman.

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