On Tuesday, Governor Jon S. Corzine, used his pocket veto to stop a controversial bill that would have extended New Jersey’s wrongful death law to allow families to sue for emotional pain, mental anguish and suffering.
A pocket veto is a way of indirectly rejecting a bill by not signing a legislatively passed measure into law within a certain time frame. It’s called that because a governor can put a bill in his pocket and let it die.
The bill was supported by victim’s advocates and trial lawyers who argued that under the current law families are unable to recover damages when the death of a disable person, retiree or child could have been prevented.
The bill was being opposed by various business interests who argued that liability insurance and property taxes would increase as a result.
Corzine has stated he allowed the bill to expire without signing due to concerns about “the significant impact on local and state budgets.”