N.J. Court: Text Recipients Can Be Held Liable In Accidents � CBS New York. Every first year law student learns, in Torts I, about liability for negligence that is the proximate cause of an injury. They learn about proximate cause from Palsgraf v. Long Island Railroad, (248 N.Y. 339, 162 N.E. 99 N.Y. 1928), in which poor Mrs. Palsgraf lost her negligence action against the Railroad. Briefly, two Railroad employees tried to help a passenger carrying a package on to the train while it was moving. The package fell, and just happened to contain fireworks, which fell on to the track, ignited, and scared Mrs. Palsgraf at the other end of the platform. Putting aside her lack of physical injury, the issue decided was that it was not "reasonably foreseeable" for the railroad employees to know that their action might trigger the fireworks, which they had no reason to know was being carried by the passenger. Now, fast forward to the Internet age, in which a driver texting while driving receives texts from a friend safely ensconced on the living room sofa. Is it reasonably foreseeable to the couch potato that sending a text to the driving friend might be read while on the road, making the couch potato jointly liable for an automobile collision? This New Jersy court said yes. What do you think?