Punitive damages sought in texting-driver case

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Updated: 3/11 10:38 pm

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Lawyers for a man who was hurt in a Los Angeles accident he blames on a texting driver are asking a California appeals court for permission to seek punitive damages.

Attorneys for Joseph Schultz say Tuesday they want the court to overturn a lower court ruling that barred punitive damages in their negligence suit against the driver in the 2010 accident.

If the court agrees, it could be the first such ruling in the country.

Punitive damages can be many times larger than compensatory damages.

Schultz's suit contends the driver, Serob Terarutyunyan, struck several cars on State Route 134 and forced Schultz off the road, where his SUV slammed into a tree. He suffered moderate injuries.

A message left for the driver's lawyer wasn't immediately returned Tuesday.

©2014 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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