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Struck in the Rear at a Traffic Light

Brief Summary

The plaintiff motor vehicle driver was stopped at a light when he was struck in the rear by the defendant’s vehicle in Queens County, New York. The court rejected the defendant’s argument that the plaintiff stopped short and granted summary judgment, finding that the defendant was at fault as a matter of law. The case eventually settled after this decision.______________________________________________________________


Supreme Court, County of Queens, Index No. 25481/2003

Upon the foregoing papers the motion is determined as follows:This action arises from a motor vehicle accident that occurred on June 7, 2011. On that day, the plaintiff, William Misa (“Misa”), was operating a vehicle westbound on Interstate 84. Just prior to the accident, Misa left the highway at exit the highway at exit 19-D and, at the end of the off-ramp, stopped his vehicle at a T-type intersection controlled by, a stop sign facing in the direction Misa was traveling. At his deposition, Misa testified that he was stopped at the intersection for approximately twenty to thirty seconds intending to turn right on to Route 6 when his vehicle was struck in the rear by a vehicle operated by the defendant Azhar Hossain (“Hossain”).

At his deposition, Hossain confirmed the salient details of the events that transpired, except that he claims that just prior to the impact the Misa moved his vehicle forward into the intersection then stopped abruptly a second time whereupon he struck Misa’s vehicle.

The plaintiffs established, prima facie, entitlement to judgment as a matter of law with the deposition testimony of William Misa wherein he avers that the vehicle he was operating struck in the rear by a vehicle operated by the Hossain. Leal v Wolf, 224 A.D. 2d 392; Silberman v Surrey Cadillac Limosine Service Inc, 109 A.D. 2. d 833; Ribowsky v Kashinsky, 234 A.D. 2d 353). Therefore, the defendants were required to present a non-negligent explanation for the accident.

In opposition, the defendants failed to raise a triable issue of fact. Hossain’s assertion that Misa was negligent by stopping abruptly after moving into the intersection is without merit. Belitsis v. Airborne Express Freight Corp., 306 A.D. 2d 507; Malone v Morillo, 6 A.D. 3d 324; Gravagna v Greene, 308 A.D. 2d 563; Kinraich v. Dib, 264 A.D. 2d 817. The defendant should have anticipated a safe distance since a driver at an intersection controlled by a stop sign is not only required to stop his vehicle, but also must yield to traffic on the through street, McNamara v Fishkowitz, 18 A.D. 3d 721; Nolan v Mizrahi, 12 A.D. 3d 430; Ishak v Guzman, 12 A.D. 3d 409.

Accordingly, after considering the evidence in a light most favorable to the defendants Kelly v Media Services Corp, 304 A.D. 2d 717; Krohn v Felix Industries, 302 A.D. 2d 499, the plaintiffs’ motion for summary judgment is granted on the issue of liability only.

Dated: June 14, 2007

Hon. Peter J. Kelly, J.S.C

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