SUPREME COURT OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK APPELLATE TERM: 2nd, 11th and 13th JUDICIAL DISTRICTS
January 24, 2012
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This opinion is uncorrected and will not be published in the printed Official Reports.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 ; Williams v Roper, 269 AD2d 125, 126 ).
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 ). 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 ; Levine v Taylor, 268 AD2d 566 ). 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 ). 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
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