Visitor Question

Can phone manufacturers be sued for injuries caused by people texting?

Submitted By: Anonymous (USA)

The technology is available to block the use of these phones. I personally have been run off the road twice because of someone texting while driving, once causing substantial damage to my car… and the driver just took off.

Everyone is looking at their phones these days even though it is illegal to drive while texting.

What can be done about this? Cigarette companies were sued, why can’t phone manufacturers be held liable? What’s the difference in liability between cigarettes causing harm and phones causing harm? Is there any legal recourse in this situation? Thank you for any perspective you can give.

Disclaimer: Our response is not formal legal advice and does not create an attorney-client relationship. It is generic legal information based on the very limited information provided. Do not rely upon the information in our response, or anywhere else on this site, when deciding the proper course of a legal matter. Always get a personalized case review from a local attorney.


Dear Anonymous,

Your raise an interesting point. Let’s take a look at the facts. Twenty eight percent of traffic accidents each year occur while people are talking on their cell phones or sending text messages while driving. According to a study released by the National Safety Council, the vast majority of those crashes, 1.4 million annually are caused by cell phone conversations, while 200,000 are blamed on text messaging.

See this Washington Post article.

Class Actions

A class action is a lawsuit in which one or more victims sue on behalf of a larger group of persons, referred to as the “Class.” There have been a huge number of class actions filed over the years, based on a range of causes such as automobile defects, asbestos poisoning, financial misappropriation, and more.

While the subject matter of class action lawsuits is varied, basically there must be two (2) factors present for a class action to succeed:

1. The issues in dispute are common to all members of the class

2. The victims are so numerous as to make it impractical and onerous to bring each victim’s case before the courts.

The rules governing the creation of classes and filing of class action lawsuits can be found under the Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 23.

There are a substantial number of websites dealing with class actions. We were unable to find a class action filed by victims of cell phone accidents. But you can still speak to an attorney who specializes in class actions.

The above is general information. Laws change frequently, and across jurisdictions. You should get a personalized case evaluation from a licensed attorney. Find a local attorney to give you a free case review here , or call (888) 647-2490.

Best of luck,

Published: February 22, 2016

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