SING LAM NG v. BEATTY

Reset A A Font size: Print

Supreme Court, Appellate Division, Second Department, New York.

SING-LAM NG, Appellant, v. Christopher BEATTY, et al., Respondents.

Decided: December 30, 2002

DAVID S. RITTER, J.P., GLORIA GOLDSTEIN, STEPHEN G. CRANE and WILLIAM F. MASTRO, JJ. Caesar & Napoli, New York, NY, (Breakstone Law Firm, P.C. [Jay L.T. Breakstone] of counsel), for appellant. McCarthy, Small & Associates, P.C., New York, NY, (John F. Cahill of counsel), for respondents.

In an action to recover damages for personal injuries, the plaintiff appeals from a judgment of the Supreme Court, Kings County (Gigante, J.), entered November 9, 2001, which, upon a jury verdict, is in favor of the defendants and against him dismissing the complaint.

ORDERED that the judgment is affirmed, with costs.

Contrary to the plaintiff's contention, it was proper for the trial court to instruct the jury on the emergency doctrine (see Kuci v. Manhattan & Bronx Surface Tr. Operating Auth., 88 N.Y.2d 923, 924, 646 N.Y.S.2d 788, 669 N.E.2d 1110;  Rivera v. New York City Tr. Auth., 77 N.Y.2d 322, 327, 567 N.Y.S.2d 629, 569 N.E.2d 432;  cf.  Caristo v. Sanzone, 96 N.Y.2d 172, 175, 726 N.Y.S.2d 334, 750 N.E.2d 36).   The defendant driver testified that he was driving a vehicle leased from the defendant Ford Motor Credit Co. on the Belt Parkway at approximately 15 miles per hour at a distance of 1 1/212 car lengths, or 25 to 30 feet, from the vehicle in front of his.   The plaintiff then pulled in front of his vehicle so closely that the defendant driver could not see the plaintiff's rear bumper.   Before the defendant could create a safe distance between his car and the plaintiff's, the plaintiff stopped short in traffic, and the defendant collided with the plaintiff after hitting the brakes.   These facts presented an emergency situation not of the defendant's making sufficient to charge the jury with the emergency doctrine (see Kuci v. Manhattan & Bronx Surface Tr. Operating Auth., supra;  Barath v. Marron, 255 A.D.2d 280, 281, 684 N.Y.S.2d 553), and it was for the jury to determine the reasonableness of the defendant's conduct in the face of the emergency (see Kuci v. Manhattan & Bronx Surface Tr. Operating Auth., supra;   Rivera v. New York City Tr. Auth., supra).

Copied to clipboard