FLANAGAN v. Parmanand Ramlakhan, et al., defendants-respondents.

Reset A A Font size: Print

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

Patrick M. FLANAGAN, et al., plaintiffs-respondents, v. Peter C. KUEHN, et al., appellants, Parmanand Ramlakhan, et al., defendants-respondents.

Decided: March 27, 2000

CORNELIUS J. O'BRIEN, J.P., DANIEL W. JOY, ANITA R. FLORIO and HOWARD MILLER, JJ. Jerrold N. Cohen, Mineola, N.Y., for appellants.

In an action to recover damages for personal injuries, etc., the defendants Peter C. Kuehn and Waltraud Kuehn appeal from so much of (1) an order of the Supreme Court, Nassau County (O'Connell, J.), dated May 4, 1999, as denied their cross motion for summary judgment dismissing the complaint and all cross claims insofar as asserted against them, and (2) an interlocutory judgment of the same court, as was entered June 3, 1999, on that portion of the order.

ORDERED that the appeal from the order is dismissed, as the order was superseded by the interlocutory judgment;  and it is further,

ORDERED that the interlocutory judgment is reversed insofar as appealed from, on the law, the cross motion of the defendants Peter C. Kuehn and Waltraud Kuehn for summary judgment dismissing the complaint and all cross claims insofar as asserted against them is granted, the complaint is dismissed insofar as asserted against the appellants, the action against the remaining defendants is severed, and the order is modified accordingly;  and it is further,

ORDERED that the appellants are awarded one bill of costs.

This action arises from a collision near the intersection of Fulton and Kernochan Avenues in Hempstead.   The plaintiffs were stopped in a vehicle facing west behind another vehicle, waiting to make a left turn at the intersection, when the plaintiff Patrick M. Flanagan allegedly observed a truck, owned by the defendant Eric Berger and the defendant Berger Sign Fabrication, Inc., and operated by the defendant Parmanand Ramlakhan.   At some distance from the intersection, without signaling, the truck crossed over the double yellow line into the eastbound lane and made a left turn onto Kernochan Avenue.

At the same time, the defendant Peter Kuehn, operating a car owned by the defendant Waltraud Kuehn, was proceeding eastbound on Fulton Avenue at approximately 30 miles per hour when he observed the truck making a left turn.   In an effort to avoid a collision with the truck, he stepped on his brakes, veered to the left, and hit the plaintiffs' car.

 This scenario presents an emergency situation, and the actions of a driver presented with such a situation must be judged in that context (see, Tenenbaum v. Martin, 131 A.D.2d 660, 516 N.Y.S.2d 741).   Peter Kuehn acted reasonably under the circumstances (see, e.g., Calzareth v. Yip, 248 A.D.2d 661, 670 N.Y.S.2d 583;  DiPaolo v. Buono, 235 A.D.2d 386, 652 N.Y.S.2d 82;  Williams v. Econ, 221 A.D.2d 429, 633 N.Y.S.2d 392;  Mangano v. New York City Hous. Auth., 218 A.D.2d 787, 631 N.Y.S.2d 54;  Glick v. City of New York, 191 A.D.2d 677, 595 N.Y.S.2d 560).   As such, he cannot be deemed negligent and the Kuehns are entitled to summary judgment dismissing the complaint and all cross claims insofar as asserted against them.

MEMORANDUM BY THE COURT.

Copied to clipboard