Friday, June 26, 2015

Auto accidents, stop signs, and right-of-way.

Practice point:  The Appellate Division affirmed the denial of plaintiff's summary judgment motion on liability in this action where plaintiff seeks damages for injuries sustained in an auto accident.Defendant testified that he stopped at an intersection, looked to the direction of oncoming traffic, and observed that plaintiff's vehicle was at a corner one block away. Defendant further testified that he began to move his vehicle because he believed that he had time to cross over the intersection, as plaintiff's vehicle was "at the other corner." He also testified that he blew his horn five seconds before the vehicles collided, and that the impact occurred between the front bumper of his vehicle and the front driver's side of plaintiff's vehicle.

There are issues of fact as to which driver entered the intersection first, which driver had the right-of-way, and whether plaintiff could have exercised reasonable care to avoid the collision.

Student note:  The fact that defendant's approach in the intersection was regulated by a stop sign and no traffic control devices regulated plaintiff's approach is not a basis for awarding plaintiff summary judgment. In addition, even if plaintiff had the right-of-way, she was still obliged to be vigilant for oncoming traffic.

Case:  Parris v. Gonzalez-Martinez, NY Slip Op 05104 (1st Dept. 2015)

Here is the decision.

Monday's issue: An action alleging discrimination because of disability.