Application of “Emergency Doctrine” Results in Dismissal of Bus Accident Case

In Orsos v. Hudson Tr. Corp., the Appellate Division, First Department recently affirmed the dismissal of plaintiff’s complaint seeking damages for personal injuries she sustained in a bus accident.  It held:

Defendants established their entitlement to judgment as a matter of law by demonstrating the applicability of the emergency doctrine in this action where plaintiff was injured when the bus in which she was a passenger stopped suddenly, hurling her forward into the windshield. Defendants submitted evidence showing that, shortly after the bus had started to move after being stopped at a traffic light, a car drove around the bus erratically and at a high rate of speed, cutting the bus off so closely that the car’s rear bumper came within an inch of striking the bus’ front bumper. Defendant bus driver was forced to stop suddenly in order to avoid colliding with the car (see Brooks v New York City Tr. Auth., 19 AD3d 162 [1st Dept 2005]; Gonzalez v City of New York, 295 AD2d 122 [1st Dept 2002]).

Evidence plaintiff offered in opposition to defendants’ summary judgment motion, including her testimony that “[n]o car ever cut the bus off at any time prior to [her] accident”, was unavailing, since it contradicted her deposition testimony.

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