Thursday, December 10, 2015

A rear-end collision.

Practice point:  Mere evidence of a sudden stop, without more, is not enough to raise a triable issue of fact as to whether the operator of the stopped vehicle was partly at fault, so as to defeat a motion for summary judgment. However, while vehicle stops under prevailing traffic conditions are forseeable and must be anticipated by the following driver, where the sudden stop is unexplained by the existing circumstances and conditions, an issue of fact as to liability is raised.

Student note:   A defendant moving for summary judgment in a negligence action has the burden of establishing, prima facie, that he or she was not at fault in the happening of the accident. Here, an affidavit averring that the vehicle was stopped at a red traffic light for 40-45 seconds when it was struck from behind was sufficient to establish Galuten's prima facie entitlement to judgment as a matter of law.

Case:  Etingof v. Metropolitan Laundry Mach. Sales, Inc., NY Slip Op 08803 (2d Dept. 2015)

Here is the decision.

Tomorrow's issue: Darkness falls.