Rosenberg & Rodriguez, PLLC

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Summary judgment granted in fatal motor vehicle accident

New York County Supreme Court, Index # 104843/08

Rosenberg & Rodriguez successfully moved for summary judgment on the issue of liability and for the dismissal of the defendants’ liability related affirmative defenses. This personal injury and wrongful death case stems from a two-car accident that resulted in the tragic death of two year-old child who was a passenger in one of the involved vehicles. The child’s mother, also a passenger, sustained psychological and emotional injuries from witnessing the death of her child.

The defendants claimed that they were not responsible for either the child’s death or the mother’s resulting psychological injuries because the mother allegedly failed to restrain the child with a seat belt or in a car seat. The defendants also moved to have the mother’s claims dismissed based on her alleged failure to sustain a “serious injury” pursuant to the NYS Insurance Law.

R&R moved to have the defendants’ liability defenses dismissed and opposed the defendants’ motion to dismiss the mother’s case. R&R succeeded in having all of the defendant’s liability defenses dismissed by convincing the New York County Supreme Court that, under the current law, a passenger has no duty to restrain another passenger in a motor vehicle and cannot be held accountable for failing to do so. R&R also successfully obtained summary judgment on the issue of liability. Finally, R&R successfully opposed the defendants’ motion to dismiss the mother’s case by demonstrating that there is significant evidence of the “serious” nature of her psychological injuries. The case is scheduled for trial in early spring of 2012.