Ordered that the order is reversed insofar as appealed from, on the law, with costs payable by the respondents appearing separately and filing separate briefs, the motion is granted, the complaint and cross claims are dismissed insofar as asserted against the appellants, and the action against the remaining defendants is severed.
On August 26, 1979, the plaintiffs were dining inside the McDonald's Restaurant on South Broadway and Vark Street in Yonkers when a car driven by the defendant Carlos Negron hit the wall of the restaurant, causing it to collapse onto the plaintiffs. Negron had been traveling in the wrong direction down Vark Street, a one-way thoroughfare. In order to avoid a collision with an approaching vehicle, Negron turned into the exit ramp of the McDonald's restaurant, collided with three vehicles in the parking lot, and ultimately hit the wall of the restaurant. The plaintiffs' claims against the defendants-appellants (hereinafter the McDonald's defendants) were grounded on two theories of negligence. The first was that the restaurant was negligently designed and constructed. The second was that a "one-way" traffic sign on McDonald's premises was pointing in the wrong direction, indicating that the exit ramp was an entrance.
The complaint was served in November 1980 and discovery apparently proceeded at a snail's pace. In 1985, the McDonald's defendants moved for summary judgment dismissing the
We initially note that the Supreme Court acted correctly in denying the third motion for summary judgment, inasmuch as it was compelled to do so by reason of the doctrine of law of the case. However, we are not bound by law of the case and may consider the motion on its merits (see, Hoffman v Landers, 146 A.D.2d 744; Rock v Capitol Air, 128 A.D.2d 691). Moreover, we are cognizant of the principle that multiple summary judgment motions in the same action are generally disfavored and should be discouraged in the absence of newly discovered evidence or other sufficient cause (see, Dillon v Dean, 170 A.D.2d 574; Efdey Elec. Contrs. v Melita, 167 A.D.2d 501). Nevertheless, while the record is devoid of newly discovered evidence, we find that sufficient cause exists for granting the motion in this case because it is substantively valid and the granting of the motion will further the ends of justice while eliminating an unnecessary burden on the resources of the courts and the McDonald's defendants (see, Post v Post, 141 A.D.2d 518; Freeze Right Refrig. & Air Conditioning Servs. v City of New York, 101 A.D.2d 175).
In support of their motion, the McDonald's defendants set forth evidentiary facts demonstrating that the restaurant was designed and constructed in accordance with the building permit issued by the City of Yonkers and that the building and the surrounding site complied with all local ordinances. In opposition, the plaintiffs merely submitted the conclusory affidavit of an engineer which vaguely asserted that "[t]he conduct and actions relative to the restaurant site taken by the defendant, McDonald's, constituted substantial causative factors of the occurrence of August 26, 1979". These unsubstantiated allegations and bald conclusions are insufficient to establish a triable issue of fact with respect to the purported negligent design and construction of the restaurant (see, Zuckerman v City of New York, 49 N.Y.2d 557).
Insofar as the plaintiffs attempt to premise liability on the alleged negligent placement of the one-way traffic sign, we