There is the doctrine of secondary negligence.
And where does it end Lois? If a killer stabs someone to death do we blame the company that made the knife. Perhaps the bus driver who let him off at the stop where he found his victim or the TV show that provided the script for the murder he copied. How about the high school teacher who flunked him and destroyed his self esteem? How about his parents for giving birth to him? Every one of those events was a contributing factor to the crime he committed. Where do we draw the line when we go beyond the person who made the final decision to commit the act?
We could blame all of them but what purpose would that serve society? What would the net effect be? It would make the lawyers happy because there would be lots of deep pockets to pick but it would cripple society because everyone would have to think twice before doing anything at all. How many degrees of separation do we need between ourselves and the event before we are considered guilt free in the eyes of the law? We would be paralyzed. What is the net benefit of a law that places liability on the texter? How many accidents will you really prevent? How many innocent people will have their lives dragged through the mud we call a legal system to benefit a few greedy lawyers and vengeful victims?
What do you suggest be done about it? It’s the way our legal system works. It got to where it is through hundreds of years of case law and precedence. In order to do what you suggest, the whole system would have to be turned on its head. Sure, I’d like to see some things changed but I’d be reluctant to throw the baby out with the bathwater. You might find the law of unintended consequences kicking in with a vengeance and you could find yourself up the creek without a paddle. (Forgive the mixed metaphores.)
I am not saying we throw the whole thing out. I am just saying we need to be very careful about extending the concept of negligence beyond the actions for the party who made the choice that directly resulted in the bad outcome. Society should not accept this argument that transfers additional responsibility to others who are far removed form the decision and have no ability to control the final act.
Decisions like this may be based on precedent but they are only an interpretation of precedent. If we let them stand then they two become precedent. We have no legal way to legislate this as far as I know but since all decisions are a matter of opinion we can only hope that wiser judges would overturn this ruling so it doesnt add to precedent.