contends occurred due to the negligence of the
various Defendants without any fault of his own, he sustained "serious
injuries" as such term is defined by § 5102(d) of New York State's
Insurance Law ("NYIL"). Following the close of discovery, each of the
Defendants filed a motion for summary judgment. For the reasons described
below, all of the motions are DENIED.
A. STANDARD OF REVIEW
A motion for summary judgment may be granted only if the court
concludes on the basis of the record before it that there is no
genuine issue as to any material fact and the moving party is therefore
entitled to judgment as a matter of law. See Fed.R.Civ.P. 56; Celotex
Corp. v. Catrett, 477 U.S. 317, 322-23 (1986). The role of the Court is
to determine whether there are any genuine issues of material fact to be
tried, not to decide them (see Gallo v. Prudential Residential Servs.,
Ltd. P'ship., 22 F.3d 1219, 1224 (2d Cir. 1994)), while resolving
ambiguities and drawing all reasonable inferences in favor of the
nonmoving party. See Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 255
In a situation like the one at bar involving allegations of personal
injuries sustained on an automobile accident, the moving party bears the
initial burden of demonstrating the absence of a genuine issue as to the
existence of a "serious injury," Madden v. Lee, 2002 WL 31398951,
(S.D.N.Y. 2002), and is required to identify those portions of the
"pleadings, depositions, answers to interrogatories, and admissions on
file, together with the affidavits, if any, [that] show that there is no
genuine issue as to" the existence of such an injury. Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(c).
In response, the party opposing the motion must demonstrate through
admissible evidence that an issue of fact exists as to whether he
suffered a "serious injury" by reason of the car accident. See Madden,
2002 WL 31398951, at *4. He must do this by going "beyond the pleadings
and by [his] own affidavits, or by the `depositions, answers to
interrogatories, and admissions on file,' designate `specific facts
showing that there is a genuine issue for trial.'" Celotex, 477 U.S. at
324 (quoting Fed.R. Civ. p. 56(e)).
Because this action is based on diversity jurisdiction, the applicable
substantive law is that of the State of New York. See, e.g., Lee v.
Bankers Trust Co., 166 F.3d 540, 545 (2d Cir. 1999). New York's
"no-fault" insurance law places limits on any recovery by a person
involved in an automobile accident. The governing statute states:
Notwithstanding any other law, in any action by or
on behalf of a covered person against another
covered person for personal injuries arising out of
negligence in the use or operation of a motor
vehicle in this state, there shall be no right of
recovery for non-economic loss, except in the case
of a serious injury, or for basic economic loss.
N.Y. Ins. L. § 5104(a).