Telling Friend to Speed May Be Pricey Mistake

Court rules that case against passenger should proceed
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 24, 2015 7:08 PM CDT
Telling Friend to Speed May Be Pricey Mistake

A woman may have to pay up for urging a friend to zoom past the speed limit. A federal appeals court in San Diego has ruled that the female passenger will have to face a jury over the fatal accident that resulted, reports the San Francisco Chronicle. The case goes back to 2009, when Hayley Meyer admitted encouraging friend Brandon Coleman to speed down a road in Riverside County because the dips were fun. Coleman lost control and smashed into a parked SUV at about 70mph, killing a father who was putting his child into a car seat. The speed limit was 25mph.

Coleman got a year in jail but Meyer escaped criminal charges. The victim's widow, however, sued them both. A lower court dismissed the case against Meyer, ruling that only Coleman could be held responsible, but the Fourth District Court of Appeals overruled that decision this week, reports the Metropolitan News-Enterprise. It didn't rule that Meyer is responsible, only that there's sufficient evidence to let a jury decide. Both stories cite a principle from cases involving drag racing, where victims can sue both drivers after a fatality. (More weird crimes stories.)

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