This case was brought about by a car accident involving a Pontiac automobile which crashed into the living room of the house of the plaintiff-decedent after being pursued by members of the Suffolk County Police Department. The vehicle was owned by defendant-corporation, which rented the car to defendant-lessee, who alleged that defendant-perpetrator took possession of the subject vehicle without her knowledge or consent.
Defendant-corporation sought the dismissal of the complaint and alleged that it is the owner of the subject vehicle, as well as a company in the business of renting automobiles and is therefore insulated from liability by operation of the “Graves Amendment” as codified at 42 USCA §30106 and which is a part of the Federal Transportation Equity Act. Hence, all claims asserted against defendant-corporation must be dismissed as a matter of law.
Defendant-corporation’s Senior Loss Control Administrator stated that in December of 2006, it was the owner of the 2006 Pontiac automobile bearing the license plate CWJ197. He further states that on December 20, 2006, said vehicle was rented to defendant-lessee. The two affidavits authored by defendant-lessee revealed that she was not the owner of the 2006 Pontiac automobile but rather rented same on December 20, 2006 from defendant-corporation and that defendant-perpetrator operated the subject automobile without her knowledge, permission or consent.