Notice of Motion, Affidavit in Support, Memorandum of Law, Affidavit of Good
Faith, with Exhibit (M-68991) 1,2,3,4
Notice of Cross-Motion, Affirmation in Opposition (CM-69300) 5,6
Motion Memorandum (CM-69300) 7
Notice of Cross-Motion, Affirmation, with Exhibit (CM-69460) 8,9
Affirmation in Opposition to Summary Judgment (CM-69460) 10
In her claim, claimant seeks damages from the State for personal injuries
suffered by her in a motor vehicle accident with a New York State Police patrol
vehicle on February 2, 1999. Trooper Geoffrey Governor was operating the State
Police vehicle when he lost control, and struck a vehicle in which claimant was
The Court will first address claimant's application for an order granting her
summary judgment on liability. The rules governing summary judgment are well
established. Summary judgment is the procedural equivalent of a trial (Andre
v Pomeroy, 35 NY2d 361), and should be granted only when it has been
established that there is no triable issue (Moskowitz v Garlock, 23 AD2d
943) . The role of the Court, therefore, on a motion for summary judgment is
not to resolve material issues of fact, but rather to determine whether any such
issues exist (Sillman v Twentieth Century-Fox Film Corp., 3 NY2d 395).
The party seeking summary judgment must make a prima facie showing of
entitlement to judgment as a matter of law, submitting evidence sufficient to
eliminate any material issues of fact (Winegrad v New York Univ. Med.
Center, 64 NY2d 851), and such evidence must be in admissible form
(Zuckerman v City of New York, 49 NY2d 557).
Generally, negligence cases are not subject to resolution by summary judgment,
but it may be granted if the proof submitted on such application is sufficient
to clearly establish the negligence of the defendant (Foltis, Inc. v City of
New York, 287 NY 108; deVoil v Wallace, 221 AD2d 411).
In this particular matter, claimant has submitted a transcript of a portion of
the deposition testimony from Trooper Governor, in which he describes his
involvement, and his actions, in this
Additionally, the Court has
considered the State Police Accident Reconstruction Report (set forth as Exhibit
A to claimant's Motion No. M-68991), which had been provided to claimant during
the discovery phase of this action.
The author of the Accident Reconstruction Report concludes that "[t]he State
Trooper operating the patrol vehicle errored in his operation", and further
details the errors, both in judgment and in action, which led to this collision
with the Ruffle vehicle. The report attributes full responsibility for this
accident upon Trooper Governor, and ascribes no negligence whatsoever to the
operator of the Ruffle vehicle.
The findings set forth in this Accident Reconstruction Report, combined with
the deposition testimony of Trooper Governor, establish to the satisfaction of
the Court that there are no material issues of fact, that the State Police
patrol vehicle was operated in a negligent manner by Trooper Governor, and that
such negligent conduct was the proximate cause of the accident between the State
Police vehicle and the Ruffle vehicle.
Accordingly, claimant has met her burden of proof and has established her
entitlement to summary judgment on the issue of liability.
Based upon this determination, both claimant's motion seeking disclosure of
Trooper Governor's "personal records" (M-68991), and the State's cross-motion in
opposition to such request (CM-69300), have been rendered moot.
Based upon the foregoing, therefore, it is
ORDERED, that Cross-Motion No. CM-69460 is hereby GRANTED; and it is
ORDERED, that Motion No. M-68991 and Cross-Motion No. CM-69300 are both hereby
DENIED, as moot; and it is further
ORDERED, that the Clerk of the Court is directed to enter an interlocutory
judgment on the issue of liability in favor of claimant in accordance with this
Decision and Order. The Court will set this matter down for a trial limited
solely to the issue of damages as soon as reasonably practicable.