Friday, August 11, 2017

The emergency doctrine.

Under the doctrine, when an actor is faced with a sudden and unexpected circumstance which leaves little or no time for thought, deliberation or consideration, or causes the actor to be reasonably so disturbed that the actor must make a speedy decision without weighing alternative courses of conduct, the actor will not be negligent if, in context, the actor's actions are reasonable and prudent.

Practice point:  A driver traveling on a road controlled by a stop sign who fails to yield the right of way is in violation of Vehicle and Traffic Law § 1142(a), and is negligent as a matter of law.

Student note:  If the offending vehicle's driver blames brake failure, the driver must show that the brake problem was unanticipated.

Case:  D'Augustino v. Bryan Auto Parts, Inc., NY Slip Op 05708 (2d Dep't July 19, 2017)

Here is the decision.

Monday's issue:  Routine maintenance and a Labor Law claim.