The plaintiff, a female high school student, was on her school track team and out for a jog. As she was standing on the sidewalk waiting to cross the street, a Hyundai driven by a defendant began to cross over the double yellow line and into oncoming traffic. The defendant driver of a Bentley was travelling in the opposite direction of the Hyundai and claimed that when he first saw the Hyundai, it was completely in his lane and 40-60 yards ahead of him. The Bentley driver testified at his deposition that when he saw the Hyundai, he accelerated and turned his wheel to the right to avoid contact with the Hyundai. Plaintiff claims that she was struck by the Bentley causing a left leg fracture.
After the close of discovery, the Bentley driver moved for summary judgment, arguing that he did not strike the Plaintiff and could not be held liable because he was faced with an emergency that left him with little or no time to react and was therefore protected by the emergency doctrine.
In opposition, Finz & Finz, P.C., argued that there were issues of fact as to whether or not the Bentley driver struck the plaintiff and whether the actions in accelerating and turning to the right were reasonable under the circumstances. Finz & Finz, P.C., argued that that the Bentley driver failed to use his brakes or sound his horn, and that he should have seen the plaintiff standing on the sidewalk at the corner prior to turning in that direction.
Hon. Antonio I. Brandveen of Nassau County Supreme Court agreed with our arguments, holding that there are issues of fact as to whether the Bentley struck the plaintiff and whether his actions in turning his vehicle and accelerating were reasonable.
The underlying case is being prosecuted by Todd M. Rubin of Finz & Finz, P.C., and the winning opposition was drafted by Joshua B. Sandberg of Finz & Finz, P.C.