Thursday, March 22, 2012

First Department Holds That For No-Fault Law To Apply Vehicle Must Cause Injury

In Cividanes v. City of New York, the plaintiff alleged that she was injured when she exited a city bus that failed to pull parallel to a curb.  As a consequence, she claimed that she stepped into a hole in the street and suffered minor injuries. The defendants moved for summary judgment arguing that the plaintiff did not suffer a serious injury under the No-Fault Law. While the First Department agreed that the plaintiff did not suffer a serious injury, it held that the No-Fault Law did not apply. According to the Court, the No-Fault Law only applies where a vehicle proximately causes the plaintiff’s injury.  Here, the First Department concluded that it was not the city bus that caused the injury, but a hole in the street that produced the injury. As a result, the No-Fault Law did not apply and the defendants were not entitled to summary judgment.  The Court further held that to the extent the Second Department's recent decision in Manuel v. New York City Tr. Auth. reached a different conclusion, they declined to follow it. 

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