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MOTOR VEHICLE TORTS: Connecticut General Assembly enacts legislation to allow for double or treble damages in an accident where the owner operates a motor vehicle while using a hand-held mobile device in violation of § 14-296aa

The Connecticut General Assembly enacted legislation amending CGS § 14-295, which allows for an award of double or treble damages for statutory recklessness where the owner of the vehicle drives deliberately or with reckless disregard in violation of one of the enumerated statutes, and such violation was a substantial factor in causing injury, death, or damage to property.  The enacted legislation adds CGS § 14-296aa, which bans the use of a hand-held mobile telephone or mobile electronic device while operating a motor vehicle, to the list of violations.  This legislation becomes effective July 1, 2019 and applies to any civil action pending on or filed on or after the effective date of July 1, 2019.   Public Act No. 19-160; as of the date of publication Governor Lamont had yet to sign the Public Act.