Pedestrian Not Entitled to Summary Judgment on Liability

In Garrido v. Puente, the Appellate Division, Second Department held that a pedestrian was not entitled to summary judgment on liability.

In this case, “[t]he plaintiff, a pedestrian crossing Bronx River Road at its intersection with Yonkers Avenue, was struck by an automobile operated and owned by the defendant, who was making a left turn from Yonkers Avenue.” The trial court granted plaintiff’s motion for summary judgment on the issue of liability.

The Appellate Division disagreed:

In support of his motion for summary judgment on the issue of liability, the plaintiff failed to establish, prima facie, that he used due care in crossing the street, and thus, that the defendant’s alleged negligent operation of her vehicle was the sole proximate cause of the accident. The affidavit submitted by the plaintiff in support of his motion failed to provide any details as to whether the traffic light controlling the intersection was in his favor, whether there was a pedestrian control signal at the subject intersection, which direction he looked before entering the crosswalk, and whether he looked in either or both directions as he crossed the street. Since the plaintiff failed to meet his prima facie burden of demonstrating his entitlement to judgment as a matter of law on the issue of liability, the Supreme Court should have denied the plaintiff’s motion for summary judgment, regardless of the sufficiency of the defendant’s opposition papers. (Emphasis added.)

While plaintiff did not succeed, the case outlines the types of evidence that courts look for when evaluating liability in a “pedestrian knockdown” case.

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