TRENTON — A New Jersey appeals court has found a person who knowingly sends a text to a driver can share liability if the driver causes an accident.

Tuesday's ruling comes in the case of a couple who lost both their legs when their motorcycle was hit by a teenager who was texting and driving in Morris County in 2009.

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The motorists had sued his girlfriend who sent him messages. The judges upheld a lower court ruling that dismissed the lawsuit.

The appeals court says someone who texts a motorist is not liable for the driver's negligent actions. But the texter has a duty to refrain if the person knows the recipient is driving and likely to read the message.

The injured couple settled their lawsuit against the driver for $500,000.

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