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Computer/Cell Phone User Beware: Your Records May Be Discoverable In A NY Car Accident Case


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12/14/2009
Jonathan Cooper
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In Detralia v. Grant, a decision regarding a car accident case that was reported on the front page of today's New York Law Journal, an appellate court has upheld a trial court's ruling requiring one of the drivers to turn over records regarding his cell phone and computer use around the time of the accident.

Although the Court acknowledged that this ruling did conflict with the driver's privacy rights, the Court was compelled to order the disclosure of these records because the tow truck driver, who came upon the accident scene shortly after the incident, claimed in an affidavit that the driver's computer, which was bolted to a special desk immediately adjacent to the steering wheel, looked like it had just been used. Although the driver of this vehicle, which collided with the car in which the plaintiffs were passengers, denied using either his computer or his cell phone, the Court held that "[The] conflicting evidence raised questions as to whether [the driver] used any technological devices while driving, rendering the records relevant to the question of his negligence."

 



Category: Car Accidents


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