GUZZO v. MERCY MEDICAL CENTER

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

Beatrice GUZZO, et al., Respondents, v. MERCY MEDICAL CENTER, et al., Appellants.

Decided: May 18, 1998

Before FRIEDMANN, J.P., and GOLDSTEIN, FLORIO and LUCIANO, JJ. Montfort, Healy, McGuire & Salley, Garden City (E. Richard Rimmels, Jr., of counsel), for appellant Mercy Medical Center sued also as Mercy Hospital Association, Town of Hempstead. Alio, Ronan, Ritzert, McDonnell & Kehoe, Melville (Gene W. Wiggins, of counsel), for appellant Scully Automated Systems, Inc. Gallet, Dreyer & Berkey, LLP, New York City (John W. Manning and Morlan Ty Rogers, of counsel), for appellants Federal Signal Corporation and Federal APD Incorporated. Hogan, Jones & Parisi, P.C., Mineola (Gregory J. Parisi and Kevin Jones, of counsel), for respondents.

In an action to recover damages for personal injuries, etc., the defendants Mercy Medical Center, sued also as Mercy Hospital Association, Town of Hempstead, Scully Automated Systems, Inc., Federal Signal Corporation, and Federal APD Incorporated appeal from an order of the Supreme Court, Nassau County (DiNoto, J.), dated October 16, 1997, which denied their respective motions for summary judgment dismissing the complaint insofar as asserted against them.

ORDERED that the order is reversed, on the law, with one bill of costs to the appellants appearing separately and filing separate briefs, the motions for summary judgment are granted, and the complaint is dismissed.

 The plaintiff Beatrice Guzzo sustained personal injuries after attempting to insert coins into a coin-operated toll gate device at the entrance to a Mercy Medical Center parking lot.   Her foot slipped from the brake, setting her vehicle in motion, resulting in an eventual collision with a tree.   Even assuming that the defendants Federal Signal Corporation and Federal APD Incorporated manufactured a defective and dangerous product and that the defendants Mercy Medical Center and Scully Automated Systems, Inc., negligently failed to properly maintain the automated entry device, or that there are questions of fact in that regard, we nevertheless conclude that the actions of the injured plaintiff constituted a superseding, intervening cause with respect to the accident, thus relieving the defendants of any liability (see, Curtin v. Campbell Distrib. Co., 151 A.D.2d 861, 542 N.Y.S.2d 836;  see also, Kriz v. Schum, 75 N.Y.2d 25, 35, 550 N.Y.S.2d 584, 549 N.E.2d 1155;  Kush by Marszalek v. City of Buffalo, 59 N.Y.2d 26, 33, 462 N.Y.S.2d 831, 449 N.E.2d 725;  Ventricelli v. Kinney System Rent A Car, 45 N.Y.2d 950, 411 N.Y.S.2d 555, 383 N.E.2d 1149;  Wright v. New York City Transit Auth., 221 A.D.2d 431, 633 N.Y.S.2d 393;  Mack v. Altmans Stage Light. Co., 98 A.D.2d 468, 470 N.Y.S.2d 664).   Any negligence on the part of the defendants “ ‘merely furnished the condition or occasion for the occurrence of the event rather than [being] one of its causes' ” (Wright v. New York City Transit Auth., supra, quoting Sheehan v. City of New York, 40 N.Y.2d 496, 503, 387 N.Y.S.2d 92, 354 N.E.2d 832).

Accordingly, the Supreme Court should have granted the defendants' motions for summary judgment dismissing the complaint (see, Derdiarian v. Felix Contr. Corp., 51 N.Y.2d 308, 316, 434 N.Y.S.2d 166, 414 N.E.2d 666;  Rodriguez v. Gutierrez, 217 A.D.2d 692, 630 N.Y.S.2d 531;  Rivera v. Goldstein, 152 A.D.2d 556, 543 N.Y.S.2d 159).

MEMORANDUM BY THE COURT.

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