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Rear End Collision Compels Reversal of Defendants’ Summary Judgment - Win

December 2, 2014 • Posted By Joseph A. French • Complex Litigation

Christopher N. Gallo, ap, v. Sapna N. Jairath, et al. Index No. 9950/12 (App. Div., 2nd Department)

            Following an action to recover damages for personal injuries, Judge J. Solomon denied plaintiff’s cross-motion for summary judgment on the issue of liability in an order dated August 8, 2013. Pursuant to plaintiff’s appeal, the Appellate Court affirmed the denial of granting summary judgment to plaintiff on his claim against defendant Calafiore. The court reversed the lower court’s order and granted plaintiff summary judgment on use of liability claim against the three (3) Jairath defendants.

            The court summarized the facts as follows: “The plaintiff alleged that he was injured when he (sic) was a passenger in a vehicle operated by the defendant Michael R. Calafiore. Calafiore’s vehicle was struck in the rear by a vehicle operated by the defendant Sapna M. Jairath and owned by the defendants Surjit Jairath and Ramnik Jairath.”

            The court noted that:  “A rear-end collision with a stopped or stopping vehicle creates a prima facie case of negligence against the operator of the rear vehicle, thereby requiring that operator to rebut the interference of negligence by providing a non-negligent explanation for the collision.” Plaintiff demonstrated his prima facie entitlement to judgment as a matter of law against the Jairath defendants by submitting his own affidavit and the police accident report. However, plaintiff failed to make a prima facie showing of entitlement to judgment as a matter of law regarding Calafiore’s liability in causing or contributing to the accident, as Calafiore was the operator of the vehicle Sapna M. Jairath struck in the rear Calafiore was entitled to summary judgment , as was plaintiff against the Jairath defendants.

            For more information contact Joseph A. French, Esq.