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ROHMAN v. CHEMICAL LEAMAN TANK LINES

April 24, 1996

LOREN ROHMAN and RENEE ROHMAN, his wife, Plaintiffs, against CHEMICAL LEAMAN TANK LINES, INC. and RYDER TRUCK RENTAL, INC., Defendants.


The opinion of the court was delivered by: CONNER

 CONNER, Senior D.J.:

 Defendant Chemical Leaman Tank Lines, Inc. ("Chemical Leaman") has moved for summary judgment dismissing the claims and crossclaims against it. Plaintiffs have requested that we deem their responses to Chemical Leaman's requests for admission timely filed. For the reasons set forth below, Chemical Leaman's motion is denied, and plaintiffs' request is granted.

 BACKGROUND

 On August 17, 1993, plaintiff Loren Rohman ("Rohman") was driving a truck on the Cross Bronx Expressway. John Witt, an employee of defendant Chemical Leaman Tank Lines, Inc. ("Chemical Leaman"), was driving the truck immediately behind Rohman's in traffic. Fred Hauff, driving a truck owned by defendant Ryder Truck Rental, Inc. ("Ryder"), was immediately behind the Chemical Leaman truck. Each driver presents a different version of the events that ensued. Rohman contends that traffic conditions ahead of him required him to stop his truck. After tapping his brakes once as a warning, he brought his truck to a controlled stop. His truck was then struck twice from behind. See Affidavit of Loren Rohman, dated Mar. 22, 1996, at PP 2-3. Chemical Leaman asserts that Rohman stopped his truck suddenly and unexpectedly. Although Witt managed to stop the Chemical Leaman truck without hitting Rohman's truck, the Ryder truck struck Witt's vehicle from behind and pushed it into Rohman's. See Affidavit of John Witt, dated Apr. 2, 1996, at PP 2-3. Ryder contends that Chemical Leaman's truck hit Rohman's truck twice: once before Chemical Leaman's truck stopped and again when the Chemical Leaman truck's sudden and unexpected stop caused the Ryder truck to hit it and to push it into Rohman's truck. See Affidavit of Heather Martinez, dated Mar. 14, 1996, at PP 4-5.

 The exoneration card reads, in its entirety, as follows:

 
EXONERATION CARD
 
To Whom It May Concern:
 
I hereby exonerate and free from all negligence or blame driver John Witt and his employer in connection with an accident involving the undersigned which occurred at I-95 Bronx, NY on this day 8-17 1993.
 
Name: Fred Hauff
 
Signed: /s/ Fred Hauff
 
Address: [illegible]
 
Witnessed by: /s/ L. ...

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