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Distracted Driving – Cellphone Use Leads to Lawsuit

April is Distracted Driving Awareness Month in the United States, and today on the blog, we take a look at another case involving someone being killed or injured by a distracted driver.

Details about the Distracted Driving Case

In March of 2008, a personal injury claim against the International Paper Company was brought forth by Debra Ford, who said that she was rear ended by employee Vanessa C. McGrogan, who was using a cellphone at the time of the accident.

McGrogan was allegedly using her company-supplied cellphone while she was driving west along Interstate 16 near Dublin when she collided with Ford’s vehicle. The impact of the collision caused Ford’s vehicle to overturn so that the driver’s side of the car hit and then slid along the side of the highway. Due to complications of the accident, Ford’s had to be amputated.

McGrogan’s legal counsel cited a Georgia cellphone statute that indicates that drivers are not to do anything that is “distracting.” The counsel pushed forward with a negligence claim against the driver who caused the accident on the part that the driver was on the phone at the time of the accident and an employee of International Paper.

Both sides of the case argued about whether or not the employee was on the phone at the time of the accident or not, but ultimately, International Paper agreed to pay $5.2 million in damages to resolve the allegations.

Important Information about Cellphone Use while Driving

According to an article in the Huffington Post, there are almost 10 wrongful deaths of Americans that are killed every day in the United States in distracted driving accidents:

  • Nine Americans are killed every day in the United States in accidents that involve drivers who are distracted by cellphones or other things.
  • There is a 25% chance that a traffic accident involved the use of a cellphone.
  • There were a total of 341,000 motor vehicle accidents in 2013 that involved texting.

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