Written by attorney Stuart C. Dimartini

Appellate News - Plaintiff's Claim is Reinstated

In this personal injury claim, plaintiff claimed she was injured while attempting to alight from an articulating New York City Transit Authority (NYCTA) bus.

There was no dispute that the rear exit of the bus was not positioned adjacent to the sidewalk so that a passenger could properly step from the bus onto the sidewalk. It was also unrefuted that there was nothing blocking the bus stop such that would prevent the bus operator from properly pulling to the curb.

The height from the last step to the street was too high for this plaintiff to navigate and she fell to the ground and was injured.

NYCTA moved for summary judgment to dismiss the case claiming there was no duty to pull to the curb. On the motion, plaintiff proffered expert opinion that it was the industry standard to pull to the curb when able to do so.

The lower court agreed with NYCTA and dismissed plaintiff’s complaint.

Mr. DiMartini appealed the decision to the appellate court. He argued that the lower court erred in not finding an issue of fact as to what constituted the correct industry standard. Such an issue must be decided by a jury and not the court. The appellate division agreed with Mr. DiMartini and reinstated plaintiff’s claim.

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