An upstate appeals court has ordered cell phone records and the wireless air card from a laptop computer to be examined during discovery in suits filed by two automobile passengers injured when their vehicle was hit by a driver they contend may have been distracted by his electronic communications devices.

Rejecting right-to-privacy arguments, the unanimous Appellate Division, 3rd Department, panel cited the tradition of courts “liberally” construing discovery statutes when ordering an examination of the devices held by driver Robert D. Grant Jr. and Hawkeye, LLC, the company whose SUV he was driving when the accident occurred in March 2006.

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