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Fozia Qureshi v. Marshal Ali

SUPREME COURT OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK APPELLATE TERM: 2nd, 11th and 13th JUDICIAL DISTRICTS


January 24, 2012

FOZIA QURESHI,
RESPONDENT,
v.
MARSHAL ALI,
APPELLANT.

Appeal from a judgment of the Civil Court of the City of New York, Richmond County (Mary Kim Dollard, J.), entered May 3, 2010.

Qureshi v Ali

Decided on January 24, 2012

Appellate Term, Second Department

Published by New York State Law Reporting Bureau pursuant to Judiciary Law § 431.

This opinion is uncorrected and will not be published in the printed Official Reports.

PRESENT: WESTON, J.P., PESCE and RIOS, JJ

The judgment, after a non-jury trial, awarded plaintiff the principal sum of $1,500.

ORDERED that the judgment is affirmed, without costs.

Plaintiff commenced this small claims action to recover for property damage to her automobile. After a non-jury trial, the Civil Court awarded plaintiff the principal sum of $1,500. Upon a review of the record, we find that the judgment provided the parties with substantial justice according to the rules and principles of substantive law (CCA 1804, 1807; see Ross v Friedman, 269 AD2d 584 [2000]; Williams v Roper, 269 AD2d 125, 126 [2000]).

The decision of a fact-finding court should not be disturbed upon appeal unless it is obvious that the court's conclusions could not be reached under any fair interpretation of the evidence (see Claridge Gardens v Menotti, 160 AD2d 544 [1990]). This standard applies with greater force to judgments rendered in the Small Claims Part of the court (see Williams v Roper, 269 AD2d at 126).

It is undisputed that defendant, who was operating plaintiff's vehicle, struck the rear of the vehicle in front of her. A rear-end collision establishes a prima facie case of liability and imposes a duty of explanation upon the operator of the offending vehicle (see Macauley v Elrac, Inc., 6 AD3d 584, 585 [2004]; Levine v Taylor, 268 AD2d 566 [2000]). Defendant's conclusory testimony that she was not negligent was insufficient to rebut the inference of negligence (see Macauley v Elrac, Inc., 6 AD3d at 585; Itingen v Weinstein, 260 AD2d 440 [1999]). As the record supports the Civil Court's determination, we find no reason to disturb the judgment.

Weston, J.P., Pesce and Rios, JJ., concur.

Decision Date: January 24, 2012

20120124

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