retie her top. In doing so she removed her hands from the wheel for what one passenger said was 20 seconds, and lost control of the car. The car, which had been traveling at 65 mph crashed, and the very passenger who had pulled the bikini strings was killed. Other passengers in the car were injured, one of whom sued the driver. Click here to read more.
The ruling in the case states the driver was not liable for the accident since her falling top amounted to a sudden and unforeseen emergency not of her own making.
Some interesting questions raised by this case:
- Should the driver have predicted the continued disruptive behavior of the passenger and done something to ensure she could remain in control of the car (pull over and make him get out, slow down, etc.)?
- Did the driver have a duty to continue to operate the car safely by NOT removing her hands from the wheel, or was her act of covering her bare breasts an automated response and therefore out of her control?
- Can you compare the driver to a mother driving with young children in the car whose behavior can be distracting? Does a mother have more reason to foresee the disruption of young children than a teen driver with a car full of passengers?
- If the teen who distracted the driver was still alive, would he (or should he) have been found liable for the crash?
- There were 4 teenagers in the car when the accident occurred. Some states, including Virginia, place restrictions on the number of passengers a new driver can have in the car. Does this case lend more evidence in favor of restricted rules for newer drivers?
These questions and more come to light in tragic cases like this, according to Virginia personal injury lawyer Doug Landau. When people are injured due to no fault of their own, like the plaintiff in this case who was simply riding in a car that crashed, it is important to determine where or with whom the fault does lie. Sometimes it is truly just an accident and no one is to blame. But sometimes there is liability, and in such a case, remuneration for the injured may be warranted.