SASS v. AMBU TRANS INC

Reset A A Font size: Print

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

Barbara S. Reingold SASS, Appellant, v. AMBU TRANS, INC., Respondent.

Decided: April 28, 1997

Before MILLER, J.P., and JOY, GOLDSTEIN and FLORIO, JJ. Dov J. Vinar, New York City, for appellant. Purcell & Ingrao, P.C., Commack (Lynn A. Ingrao, of counsel), for respondent.

In an action to recover damages for personal injuries, the plaintiff appeals from a judgment of the Supreme Court, Suffolk County (Underwood, J.), entered April 24, 1996, which, upon a jury verdict on the issue of liability finding that the defendant was not negligent, dismissed the complaint.

ORDERED that the judgment is reversed, on the law, with costs, the plaintiff is awarded judgment as a matter of law on the issue of liability, and the matter is remitted to the Supreme Court, Suffolk County, for entry of an interlocutory judgment in favor of the plaintiff and against the defendant on the issue of liability and for a trial on damages.

 In this automobile accident case involving a rear-end collision, the defendant's driver did not submit adequate evidence to rebut the presumption that he was negligent.   The defendant's driver breached his duty to maintain a reasonably safe distance between himself and the traffic he was following and to be aware of traffic conditions, including a stoppage in traffic caused by another driver several cars ahead of the defendant's driver (see, Barba v. Best Security Corp., 235 A.D.2d 381, 652 N.Y.S.2d 71;  Bando-Twomey v. Richheimer, 229 A.D.2d 554, 646 N.Y.S.2d 155;  Lectora v. Gundrum, 225 A.D.2d 738, 640 N.Y.S.2d 202;  McCarthy v. Miller, 139 A.D.2d 500, 526 N.Y.S.2d 848).

 Furthermore, the emergency doctrine is inapplicable to this routine rear-end traffic accident (see, McCarthy v. Miller, supra).

There being no further issue of fact, we award the plaintiff judgment as a matter of law on the issue of liability (see, e.g., Cohen v. Terranella, 112 A.D.2d 264, 491 N.Y.S.2d 711).   The matter is remitted to the Supreme Court for a trial on the issue of damages only.

MEMORANDUM BY THE COURT.

Copied to clipboard