“Non-Driving Text Sender May Be Liable in Crash”

Query: If you’re not the driver of a car, can you be held liable for a collision that occurs when the recipient reads and responds while driving?

Answer: Quite possibly, yes.

Lawyer/blogger Eric Turkewitz has been covering this issue of lawsuits against persons on the other end of a negligent driver’s text conversation for a while and now reports on a Pennsylvania Court of Common Pleas decision in a case called Gallatin v. Gargiulo.


  • Perhaps radio stations should also be liable for any action — say, too many commercials, poor programming in general — which causes a driver to change stations. It’s distracting to look at the radio, after all.

    And how is Google going to avoid the massive liability sure to follow from Google Maps? If turn-by-turn directions aren’t clear and the driver looks at his phone . . .

    • Add all those damned LED animated billboards everywhere…

  • What about all those passengers in the car with you? Talking to one another and distracting the driver. I think that it should be illegal to have any women riding in the back seat if the driver identfies as female -it is well known that women have to look directly at one another when they engage in a conversation.

  • This is really silly. Texting is a store and forward system and DOES NOT have to be answered immediately, so it is completely on the driver if they try to answer a text while driving. The sender is not holding a gun to their head or activating a bomb it they don’t answer. Texting while driving is no different then reading your snail mail while driving and no-one would blame the letters sender if the driver crashed while reading a letter.