TOWN OF LANSING v. STATE

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

TOWN OF LANSING, Appellant, v. STATE of New York, Respondent.

Decided: May 26, 2005

Before:  CREW III, J.P., CARPINELLO, MUGGLIN, LAHTINEN and KANE, JJ. Thaler & Thaler, Ithaca (Richard T. John of counsel), for appellant. Eliot Spitzer, Attorney General, Albany (Michael S. Buskus of counsel), for respondent.

Appeal from an order of the Court of Claims (Midey Jr., J.), entered December 23, 2003, which granted defendant's motion to dismiss the claim.

After a tractor-trailer accident on a state highway, the State Police temporarily rerouted all traffic onto a town road owned by claimant.   Claimant now seeks monetary damages from defendant for the physical deterioration of this road as a result of the several hour detour.   Specifically, the road, which was weight limited, had to be repaved.   The Court of Claims dismissed the claim, prompting this appeal.

Defendant is entitled to governmental immunity from liability for the alleged negligence under these circumstances;  accordingly, we affirm.   The decisions made by the State Police at accident scenes “involve the exercise of reasoned judgment which could typically produce different acceptable results” (Tango v. Tulevech, 61 N.Y.2d 34, 41, 471 N.Y.S.2d 73, 459 N.E.2d 182 [1983] ).   The exercise of such discretionary decisions are generally immune from common-law liability (see id.;  Davis v. State of New York, 257 A.D.2d 112, 115, 691 N.Y.S.2d 668 [1999] ).   Here, the decision to reroute traffic involved the exercise of reasoned judgment such that defendant is immune from liability and the claim was properly dismissed.

ORDERED that the order is affirmed, without costs.

CARPINELLO, J.

CREW III, J.P., MUGGLIN, LAHTINEN and KANE, JJ., concur.

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