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Appellate Division unanimously affirms summary judgment on no-fault serious injury defense

Cynthia Moctezuma v. Luis Garcia, ___ A.D.3d ___ (1st Dep't 2019)

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A four-judge panel found no difficulty in affirming a Bronx court's decision granting summary judgment ruling that plaintiff failed to establish that her injuries were causally related to the subject motor vehicle accident.

The Appellate Court held, that defendants met their burden establishing a "serious injury" or more specifically that plaintiff's left knee injury necessitating left knee replacement surgery was not caused by the accident, but was a pre-existing condition. The Court further found that plaintiff's expert's opinion that the accident exacerbated the condition in the left knee was insufficient to raise a question of fact since it was based solely upon history provided by plaintiff and not medical documentation. Further, plaintiff had no treatment to the left knee contemporaneous with the accident. The Court further found that there was no admissible evidence offered to establish that any of plaintiff's other alleged injuries met the "serious injury" threshold.

The lower court decision in this action had previously been reported upon in Newswire. (See "Even with knee replacement surgery, plaintiff sustained no permanent consequential or significant limitation as a result of accident; Court grants defendant's motion for summary judgment", Newswire 1/11/2019).

AGF&J associate Jay S. Gunsher briefed and argued the response in opposition for defendants/respondents.