BOWEN v. FARRELL

2015-10691, Index No. 23488/13.

140 A.D.3d 1001 (2016)

34 N.Y.S.3d 165

2016 NY Slip Op 04900

CARLTON A. BOWEN, Respondent, v. PAUL J. FARRELL, Appellant.

Appellate Division of the Supreme Court of New York, Second Department.

Decided June 22, 2016.


Ordered that the order is affirmed, with costs.

A rear-end collision with a stopped or stopping vehicle establishes a prima facie case of negligence on the part of the operator of the rear vehicle, requiring that operator to come forward with evidence of a nonnegligent explanation for the collision in order to rebut the inference of negligence (see Tutrani v County of Suffolk, 10 N.Y.3d 906, 908 [2008]; Drakh v Levin, 123 A.D.3d 1084, 1085 [2014]; Lisetskiy v Weiss, 123 A.D.3d 775, 776 [2014]). "To prevail on a motion for summary judgment on the issue of liability, a plaintiff must establish, prima facie, not only that the opposing party was negligent, but also that the plaintiff was free from comparative fault" (Phillip v D&D Carting Co., Inc., 136 A.D.3d 18, 22 [2015]; see McLaughlin v Lunn, 137 A.D.3d 757 [2016]).

Here, in support of his motion for summary judgment on the issue of liability, the plaintiff relied on his own deposition testimony and the deposition testimony of the defendant. Although the parties provided conflicting testimony as to the facts surrounding the accident, under either version of the accident, the defendant's negligence in the operation of his vehicle was the sole proximate cause of the accident (see Clarke v Phillips, 112 A.D.3d 872, 873-874 [2013]; Gibson v Levine, 95 A.D.3d 1071, 1072 [2012]; Giangrasso v Callahan, 87 A.D.3d 521, 522 [2011]). Accordingly, the plaintiff made a prima facie showing of his entitlement to judgment as a matter of law on the issue of liability (see Alvarez v Prospect Hosp., 68 N.Y.2d 320, 324 [1986]). In opposition, the defendant failed to raise a triable issue of fact.

Accordingly, the Supreme Court properly granted the plaintiff's motion for summary judgment on the issue of liability.


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