A vehicle driven by Tabitha Antico collided with a truck owned by Sindt Trucking, Inc. Antico was killed in the accident. The personal representative of Antico brought a civil wrongful death action against Sindt Trucking. The company denied liability, alleging that Antico was either solely or partially at fault for the accident because she was distracted by texting or otherwise using her cellphone while driving. Testimony from two witnesses and responding troopers indicated that Antico had been utilizing her cellphone at the time of the accident. Sindt made a motion to the trial court to permit an expert to inspect the cellphone’s data, including text messages, internet website access history, and other use of Antico’s cellphone on the day of the accident. The plaintiff countered that the discovery would violate Antico’s privacy rights. The trial court approved the discovery of the cellphone data, limiting the discovery to the 9-hour period preceding and including the time of the accident.
Research and discuss the laws that allow courts to authorize exploration into a person’s digital footprint in the case of a law suit.
Based on your research, in your opinion should evidence found on digital tools like phones and social media be allowed to support either the plaintiff or the defendant? Support your thoughts.