Two victories for AGF&J auto liability defense team

Sanchez, et al. v. Mariolis, et al., Index 300999/2013 (Sup.Ct. Bronx Cty. Feb. 13, 2018); Hernandez et al. v. Abreu , Index 158716/2013 (Sup.Ct. New York Cty. Jan. 25, 2018)

The AGF&J auto liability defense team racked up a pair of victories in January and February.

In a case involving a rear-end collision, the Court dismissed the defendant's counterclaim for damages incurred when defendant struck the rear of the plaintiff's vehicle in stop-and-go traffic on the Long Island Expressway. Defendant alleged that the plaintiff stopped abruptly. Plaintiff showed, based upon testimonial evidence, that the vehicle had been stopped for at least three seconds when it was hit in the rear. The Court held, on motion for summary judgment, that the defendant failed to offer a non-negligent explanation for striking plaintiff's vehicle in the rear.

Separately, in an action involving a collision in upper Manhattan, the Court granted defendant's motion for summary judgment on liability. In Hernandez, plaintiff at the time of the accident was pulling out of a parking spot when plaintiff's vehicle struck the rear quarter panel of defendant's vehicle that was traveling in the moving lane for traffic. Based upon the motion papers and after oral argument defendant established that defendant's vehicle had the right of way and plaintiff's testimony confirmed that plaintiff did not look for oncoming traffic before exiting the parking spot and entering into the moving lane of traffic. Plaintiff violated New York Vehicle and Traffic Law section 1128(a) and was therefore negligent as a matter of law. Section 1128(a) requires that a "vehicle shall be driven as nearly as practicable entirely within a single lane and shall not be moved from such lane until the driver has first ascertained that such movement can be made safely". The Court further ruled that plaintiff failed to place any comparative negligence on behalf of defendant. The Court granted the motion and dismissed the Complaint.

AGF&J associate Jay Gunsher briefed both motions and argued Sanchez. AGF&J associate John Fronce argued Hernandez.