Articles Posted in Bus Accidents

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On March 12 of 2010, a school security guard was struck by the car of one of the parents while attempting to assist her with a traffic issue. He approached her car as she sat in the traffic line to drop off her child. After she pulled in, a school bus pulled in behind her. Her vehicle was blocked. The Westchester security guard approached her vehicle from the front. As he passed in front of her car, she inexplicably drove forward striking the security guard. He incurred a personal injury that resulted in a lawsuit against the woman and her insurance company, but also the owner of the car and their insurance company.

The car was owned by a vehicle leasing company. They had an internal policy against leasing cars to people with revoked or suspended driver’s licenses. Upon investigation, the security guard had discovered that the car had been leased by the woman’s boyfriend who had a restricted driver’s license. The security guard maintains that the company employee violated policy when he leased the car to the man. The man’s driving record clearly indicating that he was not a safe driver as per the standards set by the leasing company itself. The security guard believes that if the leasing company had not leased the car to the man in violation of their own internal policy, he could not have loaned it to his girlfriend, and she would not have hit him with it causing his injury.

The security guard maintains that he was injured so severely as to have to miss several days of work and suffering from injuries so severe that they have altered his lifestyle. He stated that he had a spine injury, head injury, hip and knee injuries that required surgery. He stated that he is no longer able to play ball with his grandchildren or to maintain a normal lifestyle.

The Bronx vehicle leasing company filed a motion for summary judgment based on the fact that they had no way of knowing that their leasing agent had taken it upon himself to violate policy and lease the car to the man with the restricted driver’s license. They maintain that they do not support the decision of their employee and that the employee was disciplined for his violation of policy. They maintain that they are not responsible for the accident and that the injured man will have to take his case up with the insurance company that the woman had personally. The company asked the court to direct that they be removed from the lawsuit and found to not hold any liability toward the security guard or his injuries.

The woman and her insurance company also requested that the court dismiss the case. Their contention being that the injured man had not made a sufficient case to demonstrate that he had suffered a severe injury as defined in the Insurance Law of New York State. In order for the injured man to have a case under this statute, he must be able to prove through certified and sworn medical testimony that he has lost the use of a body part, incurred a severe spinal injury or brain injury, or have been unable to perform his normal activities for 90 of the following 180 days after the accident.

The security guard produced numerous doctor reports, tests, and testimony to demonstrate that he had sustained a partial use of his leg from the knee injury. His medical witnesses also produced tests that demonstrated that he had been unable to perform normal activities for 90 of the 180 days for that claim. The court determined that the motion to relieve the rental car company of liability should be granted, but the motion to dismiss the claim against the woman and her insurance company will proceed to trial.
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This involves a case where the court denied the motion of the defendants for summary judgment to dismiss the case against them.

Plaintiff alleged that, on June 16, 2007, he was injured when a New York City Transit Authority Bus driven by its employee made contact with a motor vehicle driven by defendant driver and owned by owner. Plaintiff was a passenger in defendant driver’s vehicle. By decision and order dated September 16, 2008, the court granted defendant owner’s motion to dismiss the complaint and any cross claims in this action as against it. (Martorella Affirm, dated 3/18/11, Ex E.)

The bill of particulars alleges that, as a result of this alleged car accident, plaintiff sustained herniated discs at C4-C7, and L5-S1, and injuries to his right hip, right arm, right shoulder, neck and back, some of which are believed or may be permanent in nature. (Martorella Affirm, dated 3/18/11, Ex C [Bill of Particulars ¶ 6].) In August 2008, plaintiff, who was represented by a law firm, apparently decided to represent himself. (Martorella Affirm, dated 3/18/11, Ex D.) Plaintiff testified at his deposition that, at the time of the accident, he was employed by Gotham Registry, a nursing agency, working per diem as a licensed nursing assistant.

Defendants essentially argue that plaintiff’s alleged injuries are minor and not causally connected to the accident. In support of their motion for summary judgment, defendants submit the affirmed reports of a neurologist and an orthopedic surgeon. (Martorella Affirm, dated 3/18/11, Exs G, H.) Defendants also maintain that plaintiff’s alleged cervical and lumbar spinal injuries were pre-existing injuries, based on plaintiff’s deposition testimony and medical records.

The Manhattan neurologist examined plaintiff on August 25, 2008. According to her report, the examination covered areas such as “mental status,” “cranial nerves,” “motor examination,” “reflexes,” “sensory,” “gait and coordination,” and “cerebellar examination.” The neurologist also recorded the ranges of motion, expressed in degrees, and corresponding normal values, at plaintiff’s neck, and found full range of motion. The neurologist concluded that “exacerbation of preexisting spinal injury, resolved” and that “from a neurologic standpoint, there is no need for further treatment.” (Martorella Affirm, dated 3/18/11, Ex G.)

The orthopedic surgeon also examined plaintiff on August 25, 2008. The orthopedic surgeon recorded the ranges of motion, expressed in degrees, and corresponding normal values, in plaintiff’s cervical spine, right shoulder, lumbosacral spine, and right hip. The orthopedic surgeon found that plaintiff had normal ranges of motion in his right shoulder, lumbosacral spine, and right hip. He noted “slightly decreased range of motion of the cervical spine on flexion to 30 degrees (45 degrees normal), extension to 30 degrees (45 degrees normal), lateral bend to 35 degrees (45 degrees normal), right and left rotation to 50 degrees (70 degrees normal).” (Martorella Affirm, dated 3/18/11, Ex H.). The orthopedic surgeon stated, “In my opinion, I find the claimant has no disability.” (Id.)

According to the court, the defendants have not met their prima facie burden of summary judgment, based on the affirmed reports of the neurologist and orthopedic surgeon, who both did not state the objective methods used to measure plaintiff’s ranges of motion. “The defendant cannot satisfy that burden if it presents the affirmation of a doctor which recites that the plaintiff has normal ranges of motion in the affected body parts but does not specify the objective tests performed to arrive at that conclusion.” [“Defendants’ failure to indicate the objective tests used to determine the range of motion in plaintiff’s cervical spine was fatal to their efforts to establish a prima facie case for summary dismissal”].)
As defendants point out, the neurologist and orthopedic surgeon both noted under “Past Medical History,” that plaintiff was attacked/assaulted by a guard, sustaining injuries to his neck and back. However, neither the neurologist and orthopedic surgeon conclude that plaintiff’s alleged injuries were pre-existing in nature. Therefore, defendant’s contention that plaintiff’s injuries are preexisting is unsubstantiated.

Because defendants do not demonstrate, as a matter of law, that none of plaintiff’s injuries meet the No Fault threshold, “it is unnecessary to address whether his proof with respect to other injuries he allegedly sustained would have been sufficient to withstand defendants’ motion for summary judgment.” (Linton v Nawaz, 14 NY3d at 821.)
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On August 24, 2002 nonparty driver was driving a van with eight passengers, one of whom was an adult and seven of whom were children. While driving on a divided highway in Pennsylvania, the driver lost control of the van when the right rear tire blew out. During the resulting crash, the van barrel-rolled across the median and became airborne before landing in the lanes of oncoming traffic. All of the children were ejected from the van and sustained varying degrees of injury. The adult passenger, who remained in the vehicle, died. The appellant lawyer was retained to litigate an action on behalf of the estate and the husband of the deceased, and on behalf of these five infant passengers.

Appellant based her action upon conclusion that the tire at issue had been improperly repaired and was not the proper size for the van. Second, she concluded that the van had a faulty liftgate latch, which allowed the liftgate to open during the car accident. Consequently, she named the manufacturer of the van as a defendant.

Appellant lawyer requested an award of an attorney’s fee in a sum consistent with her retainer agreement, representing one third of the net settlement from the manufacturer of the van and 25% of the net settlement from the driver’s insurer. The Supreme Court approved so much of the proposed infant’s compromise order as concerned the amounts recovered by the infant plaintiffs, but awarded appellant lawyer an attorney’s fee in a sum representing approximately 25% of the aggregate net settlement. The lawyer appealed.

In affirming the infant’s compromise order, the court said that Judiciary Law § 474 expressly exempts, from the general rule, a contingency fee agreement between an attorney and a guardian of an infant, and provides that such agreements are always “subject to the power of the court, as hereinafter provided, to fix the amount of such compensation.” Pursuant to the statute, the court “shall proceed summarily to determine the value of the services of said attorney, taking such proof from either the attorney or the guardian by affidavit, reference or the examination of witnesses before the said court, judge or surrogate, as may seem to be necessary and proper, and shall thereupon make an order determining the suitable compensation for the attorney for his services therein”. Consequently, in rendering a determination as to “suitable compensation” within the meaning of Judiciary Law § 474, the court must determine the reasonable value of the legal services provided in light of all of the facts and circumstances, with consideration given to any agreement as to compensation, and award an amount consistent with such a determination and with the court’s duty to ensure fair and adequate compensation for the infant. Here, applying this standard, we find that the attorney’s fee awarded by the Supreme Court is “suitable compensation” within the meaning of Judiciary Law § 474.

Consequently, while the amount of the recovery was commensurate with the number of injured parties, the time and effort needed to investigate and prosecute the case was not. Rather, although some factors varied as between the injured parties, such as the nature and extent of their injuries, the core inquiries into causation and liability required no more effort than that necessary to litigate the action on behalf of only one injured party. Moreover, there were more injured parties to be compensated from the same limited pool of funds. Finally, the court note that the requested attorney’s fee of one third of the recovery from the manufacturer van represents the upper limit, in general, of what is deemed reasonable under the rules of the Court (see 22 NYCRR 691.20 [e]; cf. 22 NYCRR 603.7 [e]). Nassau and Westchester have similar laws.

In light of all of these facts and circumstances, and weighing the competing interests, the court find the amount of the attorney’s fee awarded-approximately 25% of the net aggregate settlement-to be suitable compensation.
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On 12 March 2010, at approximately 9:15 a.m. on Albany Avenue, Amityville, County of Suffolk, State of New York, personal injuries were allegedly sustained by plaintiffs as a result of a pedestrian knockdown or automobile accident with defendants. At the time of the automobile accident, plaintiff was a pedestrian and defendant individual was the operator of a 2009 Dodge Charger that was owned by a rental company, the defendant corporation.

Defendant individual’s girlfriend had rented the vehicle from the defendant corporation.
Allegedly, plaintiff who was a school security guard was struck by the front of defendants’ automobile when it was in the driveway in front of the school where plaintiff was working. Defendants’ vehicle entered the school driveway to drop off a child and was unable to back out of said one-way driveway due to a school bus pulling behind it.

Consequently, on 20 May 2010, a personal injury action ensued. Plaintiff contends that, when defendants’ vehicle was moving forward after being blocked by the school bus, it struck plaintiff in the area of his right knee, causing him to fall onto the hood of defendants’ vehicle. Plaintiff claims that he sustained several injuries, including a spinal injury. On the other hand, defendant individual claims that his vehicle never struck plaintiff and that the only contact between plaintiff and defendants’ vehicle was when plaintiff placed his hands on said vehicle to prevent defendant individual from moving the vehicle any further.

Defendants now move, pursuant to CPLR § 3212 and Article 51 of the Insurance Law of the State of New York, for an order granting them summary judgment on the ground that plaintiffs did not suffer a serious injury in the subject automobile accident as defined by New York State Insurance Law; and move for an order dismissing the action as against defendant corporation pursuant to the Graves Amendment, as there is no vicarious liability for leasing or rental car companies under New York Vehicle and Traffic Law. Plaintiffs oppose the motion.

The Ruling:

Under the rules, it is well settled that the proponent of a motion for summary judgment must make a prima facie showing of entitlement to judgment as a matter of law by providing sufficient evidence to demonstrate the absence of material issues of fact. To obtain summary judgment, the moving party must establish its claim or defense by tendering sufficient evidentiary proof, in admissible form, sufficient to warrant the court, as a matter of law, to direct judgment in the movant’s favor. Such evidence may include deposition transcripts, as well as other proof annexed to an attorney’s affirmation. If a sufficient prima facie showing is demonstrated, the burden then shifts to the non-moving party to come forward with competent evidence to demonstrate the existence of a material issue of fact, the existence of which necessarily precludes the granting of summary judgment and necessitates a trial. When considering a motion for summary judgment, the function of the court is not to resolve issues but rather to determine if any such material issues of fact exist. Mere conclusions or unsubstantiated allegations are insufficient to raise a triable issue. Further, to grant summary judgment, it must clearly appear that no material triable issue of fact is presented. The burden on the court in deciding this type of motion is not to resolve issues of fact or determine matters of credibility, but merely to determine whether such issues exist. Within the particular context of a threshold motion which seeks dismissal of a personal injury complaint, the movant bears a specific burden of establishing that the plaintiff did not sustain a serious injury as enumerated in Article 51 of the Insurance Law. Upon such a showing, it becomes incumbent upon the non-moving party to come forth with sufficient evidence in admissible form to raise an issue of fact as to the existence of a serious injury. In support of a claim that the plaintiff has not sustained a serious injury, the defendant may rely either on the sworn statements of the defendant’s examining physicians or the unsworn reports of the plaintiff’s examining physicians. However, unlike the movant’s proof, unsworn reports of the plaintiff’s examining doctors or chiropractors are not sufficient to defeat a motion for summary judgment. Essentially, in order to satisfy the statutory serious injury threshold, the legislature requires objective proof of a plaintiff’s injury. The Court of Appeals in the case of Toure v. Avis Rent-a-Car Systems stated that a plaintiff’s proof of injury must be supported by objective medical evidence, such as sworn MRI and CT scan tests. Nonetheless, these sworn tests must be paired with the doctor’s observations during the physical examination of the plaintiff. Unsworn MRI reports can also constitute competent evidence if both sides rely on those reports. Conversely, even where there is ample proof of a plaintiff’s injury, certain factors may nevertheless override a plaintiff’s objective medical proof of limitations and permit dismissal of a plaintiff’s complaint. Specifically, additional contributing factors such as a gap in treatment, an intervening medical problem or a pre-existing condition would interrupt the chain of causation between the accident and the claimed injury.

Here, the Queens defendants submit the pleadings, plaintiffs’ Verified Bill of Particulars and Supplemental Verified Bill of Particulars, the transcript of plaintiff’s Examination Before Trial (“EBT”) testimony, the transcript of plaintiff wife’s EBT testimony, the transcript of defendant’s EBT testimony, the transcript of non-party witness’ EBT testimony, the affirmed report of the doctor who performed an independent orthopedic examination of plaintiff on 2 June 2011, the rental car agreement entered into, the Police Accident Report and the Affidavit of the risk manager for defendant corporation.

As a rule, when moving for dismissal of a personal injury complaint, the movant bears a specific burden of establishing that the plaintiff did not sustain a serious injury. Within the scope of the movant’s burden, defendant’s medical expert must specify the objective tests upon which the stated medical opinions are based, and when rendering an opinion with respect to the plaintiff’s range of motion, must compare any findings to those ranges of motion considered normal for the particular body part..

Thus, the Court finds that defendants have established a prima facie case that plaintiff did not sustain serious injuries, that is, the alleged spinal injury, within the meaning of New York State Insurance Law.

The burden now shifts to plaintiffs to come forward with evidence to overcome defendants’ submissions by demonstrating the existence of a triable issue of fact that serious injuries were sustained.

Plaintiffs then submit the affirmed report of a doctor who performed an MRI of plaintiff’s lumbosacral spine on 8 May 2010, the affirmed report of a doctor who performed an MRI of plaintiff Mariano Lopez’s right knee on July 14, 2010, the unaffirmed medical narrative reports of a doctor dated 18 March 2010, 15 April 2010, 12 May 2010 and 13 September 2010 and his affirmed medical narrative reports dated 18 July 2011 and 13 December 2011, the unaffirmed operative report of a doctor dated 5 August 2011, the affirmed medical narrative report of a doctor dated 16 January 2010 (with plaintiff’s EMG report dated 15 May 2010) and the unsigned report of a doctor dated 22 July 2010.

As stated, unlike the movant’s proof, unsworn reports of the plaintiff’s examining doctors or chiropractors are not sufficient to defeat a motion for summary judgment. Thus, the unsworn medical narrative reports are not sufficient to defeat defendants’ instant motion. Additionally, the unaffirmed operative report and the unsigned report are also not sufficient to defeat defendants’ instant motion. Even so, the 18 July 2011 and 13 December 2011 medical narrative reports were affirmed. The 18 July 2011 report indicates that plaintiff was seen that date in follow-up for injuries sustained as a result of a work related accident. On said date, range of motion tests performed on plaintiff’s lumbar spine indicated deviations from normal. Examination of plaintiff’s right knee revealed that patient has pain and tenderness over the medial joint line. The doctor’s assessment was lumbar spine lumbago, lumbar spine right side herniated nucleus pulposus, and right knee chondromalacia; that due to the subjective and objective findings, the patient is recommended physical therapy at a frequency of two time per week for six to eight weeks for exercise, ultrasound, electrical stimulation and massage therapy; and that the goal is to increase flexibility and decrease pain and increase motion. It is the doctor’s orthopedic opinion that the aforementioned occurrence is the competent producing cause of the injury, including the spinal injury, and disability sustained by this patient. Moreover, the affirmed medical narrative report dated 16 January 2010 indicates that plaintiff first presented to his office on 12 March 2010 and returned for re-examinations seven separate times between 26 April 2010 and 10 August 2011. At all of the visits, quantified and computerized range of motion tests performed on plaintiff’s lumbosacral spine indicated deviations from normal. Additionally, at all of the visits, tests performed on plaintiff’s right knee revealed pain. The doctor then concluded his reports stating that plaintiff remains partially disabled that and can no longer perform all duties, including lifting, bending, climbing or kneeling; that his concluding symptoms and disability are consistent with those of the doctor’s experience as well as the chiropractic, medical and automotive literature; that plaintiff has permanent ratable factors of disability that will affect his home and work activity; that plaintiff will have future pain and disability solely from the residual musculoskeletal dysfunction he suffered in the motor vehicle accident. The doctor opined to a reasonable degree of chiropractic certainty that a prognosis for a full and complete recovery is most certainly poor; that plaintiff is left with a permanent partial disability.

The court finds that plaintiffs failed to address defendants’ arguments with respect to dismissal of the action against the defendant corporation based upon the Graves Amendment. Thus, the portion of defendants’ motion for an order dismissing the action as against the defendant corporation pursuant to the Graves Amendment as there is no vicarious liability for leasing or rental car companies under New York Vehicle and Traffic Law is granted. However, with respect to plaintiffs’ claims of serious injury under the categories of permanent loss of a body organ, member, function or system; a permanent consequential limitation of use of a body organ or member, a significant limitation of use of a body function or system and a medically determined injury or impairment of a non-permanent nature which prevents the injured person from performing substantially all of the material acts which constitute such person’s usual and customary daily activities for not less than ninety days during the one hundred eighty days immediately following the occurrence of the injury or impairment, the Court concludes that the acceptable evidentiary documentation presented by plaintiffs clearly raise genuine issues of fact as to injuries causally related to the motor vehicle accident. As a result, the portion of defendants’ motion for an order pursuant to CPLR § 3212 and Article 51 of the Insurance Law of the State of New York granting them summary judgment and dismissing plaintiffs’ Verified Complaint is denied.
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Defendants Platform Taxi Service, Inc. move for an on order, pursuant to CPLR 3212, dismissing the Verified Complaint of plaintiff Sheryl Azevedo, on the ground that she did not sustain a “serious injury” within the meaning of Insurance Law §5102 (d) as a result of the February 21, 2007 accident. Plaintiff alleges “serious injury” under the “significant disfigurement” category in Insurance Law §5102 (d), based upon facial scarring.

A Lawyer said that, in support of their motion, defendants submit the affirmed report of plastic surgeon Robert D. Goldstein, M.D., who examined Plaintiff, and a copy of the transcript of Plaintiff’s examination before trial. The results of Dr. Goldstein’s examination are stated in their entirety as follows: “Physical examination with specific reference to the area of scarring shows that there is no perceptible residual scarring of the upper lip. On the bridge of the nose, there is an inferior area of white hypopigmentation measuring 1.25 x 0.5 cms, and above this there is a linear scar that measures 1.4 cms. There is no disability associated with these areas of scarring.

A source in Nassau and Suffolk said that, since Dr. Goldstein does not state that the photographs accurately represent that which they purport to depict, they are inadmissible as evidence. In any event, photographs taken three years after the accident, when they are the only photographs submitted, would provide a potentially unbalanced representation of the plaintiff’s injury on the question of significant disfigurement, particularly since even temporary disfigurement may qualify as a serious injury. Indeed, Dr. Goldstein states that he reviewed copies of 3 black and white photographs from St. Vincent’s Hospital, but the contemporaneous photographs are not provided to the Court for consideration on this motion.

The issue in this case is whether plaintiff suffered “serious injury” within the meaning of Insurance law, as the result of the car accident.

The Court held that the standard, by which “significant disfigurement” is to be determined, is whether a reasonable person would view the condition as unattractive, objectionable, or as a subject of pity or scorn. The dimensions, hue, texture, and particularly the location, of scarring will, of course, influence whether it constitutes a “significant disfigurement,” as well as the likelihood that the appearance of a scar could be improved by treatment.

The Court said that, facial scarring requires close evaluation. It is the type of injury which should not be dismissed without viewing the injury. A residual imperfection may not be as significant on other portions of the anatomy as it may be upon the face or other exposed areas. A court, in evaluating the gravity of the disfigurement to determine whether as a matter of law the marring qualifies as a significant disfigurement within the threshold requirements of the No-Fault Law, must consider all relevant factors. These should include the location of the injury, the age, sex and occupation of the victim, other scars of disfigurement, blemishes, imperfections caused by birth injury or the result of pox or acne and any other distinguishing features which will detract from the person’s appearance as it existed prior to the date of the accident.

In this case, defendants describe Plaintiff’s occupation at the time of the accident as an entertainer at a Gentleman’s Club, Flash dancers. Facial scars an inch or less in length have been found to qualify as a significant disfigurement, but have also been found not to qualify. Clearly, quantifiable criteria are of limited use on matters of personal aesthetics, influenced as they are by the age, gender, and cultural dispositions of the plaintiff and the fact-finder.
The Court held that, defendants have failed to make a prima facie showing that “significant disfigurement” within the meaning of Insurance Law did not result from the accident. There is no admissible photographic evidence of Plaintiff’s appearance either soon after the car accident or at a later point, although photographs taken at the hospital were apparently in Defendants’ possession and provided to its examining doctor. Dr. Goldstein does not address the visibility of the scar on the bridge of Plaintiff’s nose, nor does he address the possibility of improvement with treatment. Dr. Goldstein’s opinion that there is no disability associated with these areas of scarring is opaque at best, without stated foundation, and appears irrelevant to a claim of “disfigurement.”

Moreover, Defendants do not address the relevant factors of this case, including the age, sex and occupation of the victim. Although Defendants appropriately review case law explicating the meaning of “significant disfigurement”, there is no articulated correspondence to the facts of this case, including, perhaps most importantly, Plaintiff’s occupation.

On this important issue, the Court has noted Defendants’ Affirmation in Reply, addressing allegations found in affidavits submitted by Plaintiff in opposition, but which, as properly noted by Defendants, are not in admissible form. Defendants’ suggestion that allegations as to the effect of scarring on Plaintiff’s occupation fails to account for other factors such as the fact that she has aged, weight gain/loss, or the effects of the economy on people’s ability to frequent Gentlemen’s Clubs is not shown to have any evidentiary support in the record.

Counsel’s further statement that most Gentlemen’s Clubs tend to be dark, and for the most part, the customers are not interested in discussing world events with exotic dancers is presumably not based upon personal knowledge.

Thus, in matters of culture and aesthetics, the distinction between summary judgment and trial is particularly important. Hence, the Court denies the defendant’s motion.
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Kevin Mitchell, a New York Resident rented a 2000 Dodge Durango from Budget-Rent-A-Car in Hartford, Connecticut on May 26, 2000. Budget-Rent-A-Car is a Delaware company where the main offices are in Illinois. The vehicle is registered in Connecticut under Team Fleet Financing Corporation, which is also a Delaware company with the main offices in Illinois. The following day Mr. Mitchell was driving the car on Route I-81 in Ryan Township, Pennsylvania with Tahani Roper, Tracy Brown and Thais Mitchell as passengers. A witness said in an attempt to over-take another vehicle, the car swerved of the road, hit a guardrail and went down an embankment. The vehicle flipped multiple times, which caused some of the passengers to be thrown out of the vehicle. Tahani Roper, an infant died instantly. Tracy Brown, the baby’s mother, and Thais Mitchell claim to have been seriously injured.

After the accident, Tracy Brown and Thais Mitchell filed a case in the New York Supreme Court against Kevin Mitchell, Budget-Rent-A-Car and Team Fleet Financing Corporation. Thais Mitchell appeared for himself and Tahani Roper, the baby who died. As for the defendants, their allegation was that Budget-Rent-A-Car and Team Fleet Financing Corporation were also liable for the careless driving of Mr. Mitchell.

Under the New York law, there is an explicit liability that is given to the vehicle owners for the negligence of driver’s who are using the vehicle with the owner’s permission. It does not matter if the accident occurs outside New York according to a Lawyer. With this in mind, you would think that Budget-Rent-A-Car and Team Fleet Financing Corporation are accountable for the accident.

Budget-Rent-A-Car and Team Fleet Financing Corporation in response to the allegations against them filed a motion for summary judgment. In their defense, they cited the choice of law principles whereby Pennsylvania’s laws will be the one applicable to this case. In Pennsylvania law, the owner’s are not liable for the driver’s neglect unless the driver is employed by the owner.

What the court did first was to determine if there was really a conflict with the laws of the different jurisdictions involved. If there wasn’t then there is no need to go into the choice of law analysis. It was mentioned by a source that the court determined it was New York, Pennsylvania and Illinois laws that need to be checked. Illinois was the one placed because that was the primary place of business for the two companies.

As mentioned, in New York the owners are liable with the driver for any negligent act while driving their vehicle. In Pennsylvania, contrary to New York’s the owner is not liable unless the driver was employed by the owner. According to a source, for Illinois the owners are not liable for the accident due to the carelessness of the drivers. The choice of law has been applied to older case after the court of appeals stopped using the stiff law of jurisdiction or where it happened. Now it is determined by which state affects the case more. In a case cited by the court, it was assigned to New York because the vehicles were registered in New York and insured in New York even if the driver was from New Jersey. The plaintiff was also from New York. In this case, the only relation of the case to New York was, it was where the plaintiffs and one defendant who was the driver live in Brooklyn, New York. The other two defendants have their main place in Illinois. They decided to apply the Neumeier rules which look at the vested interests, where the case is centered and where the interest of the government lies. The court’s decision was that the Pennsylvania laws apply. Therefore, the summary judgment was granted in favor of Budget-Rent-A-Car and Team Fleet Financing Corporation. They are not liable.
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Nora White filed a case against Carlos A. Diaz with Agramonte and Manuel A. Nunez with Atlantic Paratransit. This is in connection to the injuries that she alleges, she suffered in the collision of the vehicles driven by Mr. Diaz and Mr. Nunez. A reporter found out that Ms. White was a passenger in Mr. Nunez’s vehicle as a driver for Access-a-Ride. She just got in the vehicle and was trying to put on her seatbeltthat was stuck when Mr. Diaz’s van hit the Access-a-Ride’s vehicle’s rear. Mr. Diaz admitted that he had fallen asleep behind the wheel.

On the side of Mr. Nunez, he said that he was double parked when the van rear ended his vehicle. This was in front of Ms. White’s building as he was waiting for her. He said there were no spots at the curb, and he was not able to find the entrance to the building’s parking lot. In his testimony at the deposition, a witness said, he was allegedly only there for about five minutes with the hazard lights on before Ms. White arrived. This was different from the testimony of Ms. White, that she was standing at the building’s entrance waiting when the van arrived, and that she immediately got in.

A source explained why the defendants consist not only of the driver’s but the companies that owned the vehicles. In New York, a person or a company that has given authority to another for the use if their vehicle is liable for any negligence of the driver while driving their vehicle. This does not apply in all States, but it is the one that is applied in New York.

Mr. Nunez and Atlantic Paratransit moved for a summary dismissal of the case against them with the argument that their vehicle was at a stop when the van hit the rear. They stated that the accident was caused by Mr. Diaz alone. They further stated that their car being in the travelling lane should be seen as just an occasion or condition for the accident. According to a report, there are different decisions with this type of defense. The Court of Appeals had seen them differently depending on the situation. The conclusion in the cases also differed. The closest that they found was in the case of Sheehan vs. City of New York. The accident happened to a bus that was in a gradual stop at the intersection on East 138th Street in Bronx. The bus unloaded passengers there instead of at the curb because the driver said there were cars parked there. A sanitation truck with defective breaks hit the rear of the bus. In this case, the court ruled that the bus being there was just a condition. They reasoned that even if the bus pulled over at the curve and moved toward the intersection after, they could still have been hit. The failure of the break can be considered as the only cause of the accident.

In this case, the court ruled that it is for the jury to decide. Their reason is that with Mr. Diaz sleeping behind the wheel, you could already foresee that he can hit something or someone. With the double parking of Mr. Nunez, you can also predict that he could be hit in the rear of his car by a careless driver. A careful driver may be able to stop and avoid him but not everyone is careful. The double parking can easily be seen as the cause of the accident as the sleeping behind the wheel. Another reason to deny the dispute is the issue was the claim of Ms. White that the seatbelt was stuck, which was the reason she was not able to put it on. The petition for a summary dismissal was denied by the court.
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Kathleen Stolarz and her husband were involved in a two-car auto accidentcaused by a bus on Route 6 in Woodbury, New York. This happened on February 18, 1989. A source found out that the vehicle that they were using was a company car rented by her employer Blue Cross/ Blue Shield. Blue Cross/ Blue Shield is a New Jersey company, and the car is registered in New Jersey. The car was insured by New Jersey Manufacturers Insurance Company. The policy given to Blue Cross/ Blue Shield was set to be consistent with the New Jersey law. Mr. and Mrs. Stolarz often garaged the vehicle at their home in Monroe, New York, which is just a few miles from the New Jersey border.

The insurance company of the other vehicle paid Mrs. Stolarz $20,000, which is the liability limit of the insured’s policy. This was disputed by Allstate Insurance Company, from whom the Stolarz’s got their personal car’s insurance from. They based their dispute from the underinsurance coverage of that policy. Mr. and Mrs. Stolarz demanded for arbitration. A source said, Allstate Insurance Company answered by filing for a special proceeding with the Supreme Court. New Jersey Manufacturers Insurance Company also disputed the amount that is payable and joined the proceeding to get a decision as to the obligations of the parties. Allstate Insurance Company settled with Mr. and Mrs. Stolarz and was not part of the appeal anymore.

New Jersey Manufacturers Insurance Company argued that in the insurance policy’s terms and the New Jersey law, they were entitled to offset the $20,000 which was given by the other driver to Mr. and Mrs. Stolarz from the $35,000 limit that was in the policy. Mr. and Mrs. Stolarz, said by a rep, countered this with the New York law offset clauses are void, and they should get the full amount. The court determined that with the conflict between the New Jersey law and New York law in this case, New York law should be the one to be followed with these injuries.

The determination that was applied by the trial court was that in cases where there is a conflict between the laws is based on the parties involved, where the car accident happened and the government’s interest. In this case, the parties that affected lives in New York, the vehicle is normally parked housed in New York, and the accident happened in New York. The State of New York has a bigger interest in getting the issue resolved. According to police, this is normally used for issues regarding jurisdiction. The Court of Appeals decision was to look at where the contract was set and the parties to the contract. In the insurance policy, Mr. and Mrs. Stolarz were not the once who paid for it, nor were they the ones who got it. The insurance was between Blue Cross/ Blue Shield, a New Jersey Company and New Jersey Manufacturers Insurance Company basing it on previous decisions with regard to contracts. They, therefore, concluded that only $15,000 of the $35,000 is due to Mr. and Mrs. Stolarz. Police in Nassau and Westchester took note.
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Ruth Pineda, who might be better known as Ruthless was involved in a serious car accident last week. The star of LA Ink required emergency medical attention at a hospital after the serious accident.

The doctor explains that it is thought the 26 year old TV star was traveling to an appointment. She was driving her Mercedes E300 when a very big bus hit the side of the vehicle.

Emergency services were very quick to attend the scene and discovered that she was in a serious condition. The victim was taken to a local Orange County Hospital by hospital. She required medical treatment for more than twelve hours as her injuries were so serious.

The report says that the star felt well enough to tweet about the crash when she was in hospital. She claims that the truck ran through red lights which caused the accident leaving her with serious injuries. The star also managed to update her Facebook page to tell everyone that she was safe and not in any danger.

Photos of the accident have been released and obtained by the representatives. Looking at these photos it is clear that serious damage has been caused to the entire car, including the sides of the vehicle.

On one side of the vehicle there are many smashed windows with both the front and back windows being smashed. The back of the vehicle is also completely crunched.

Ruth released a photograph of herself in hospital. It can be seen that she is wearing a neck brace and hospital gown to ensure that no permanent damage has been caused by the accident. She needed to remain in hospital for several days to check that she was OK and that the treatment was a success.

The TV star started as a tattoo artist and became a very popular TV personality through the reality show LA Ink. She has become a celebrity in her own right. Many of her fans in Manhattan and Queens offered messages of support through Twitter and Facebook. Her fans are said to be relieved that she is now OK from her injuries.
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Mere minutes after unloading its last passengers, a school bus was struck by a sedan hard enough that the bus toppled onto its side, claims a witness. The last passengers of the bus, who were neighborhood children, had exited the vehicle within five minutes of the incident.

Police suspect that the driver of the sedan that hit the bus had driven through a stop sign right before colliding with the school bus. The bus, as it toppled over, fell onto a biker that was riding along the sidewalk parallel to the bus. The bicyclist was trapped as the bus smashed her leg and pinned her to the ground. As soon as help arrived and they were able to move the bus off of her leg, the girl was taken by ambulance to the nearest medical center.

The bus driver was forced to exit the school bus by climbing out the driver’s side window. The driver only sustained minor injuries during the car accident.

The sedan, which was completely demolished by the impact and was not considered drivable, contained the driver and his two passengers at the time of the incident. The driver and one of the passengers sustained only minor injuries while the second passenger was sent by ambulance to receive medical care, states a hospital report.

The police spent several hours recording the placement of vehicles and other evidence from the scene of the car accident. It was late evening before the roads and sidewalk in the area was reopened for the public.

Though the police are investigating the circumstances which led to the crash, they have yet to determine the exact series of events that led to the accident. They have issued a request for any witnesses to come forward to shed light on the matter. An Accident like this could have happened anywhere. If school children and buses are on the road in The Bronx and Brooklyn care must be taken.

Charges have not yet been filed against the driver of the sedan, due to a lack of evidence and witnesses, although the circumstantial evidence may be enough to press charges. The case is further complicated by the fact that the driver of the sedan was not a United States citizen, explains a spokesperson.
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