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Joseph Dickerson v. Monro Muffler Brake

SUPREME COURT, APPELLATE TERM, SECOND DEPARTMENT, 9th and 10th JUDICIAL DISTRICTS New York Supreme and/or Appellate Courts


December 20, 2012

JOSEPH DICKERSON,
APPELLANT, --
v.
MONRO MUFFLER BRAKE, INC.,
RESPONDENT.

Appeal from a judgment of the District Court of Suffolk County, Second District (C. Stephen Hackeling, J.), entered February 4, 2011.

Dickerson v Monro Muffler Brake, Inc.

Decided on December 20, 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This opinion is uncorrected and will not be published in the printed Official Reports.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: MOLIA, J.P., NICOLAI and IANNACCI, JJ

The judgment, after a non-jury trial, dismissed the action.

ORDERED that the judgment is affirmed, without costs.

Plaintiff commenced this small claims action to recover the sum of $5,000, alleging that defendant had negligently changed the oil and the oil filter of plaintiff's truck, which caused the truck's engine to fail. After a non-jury trial, the District Court dismissed the action, finding that the action was barred by the doctrine of res judicata based on a prior determination by an administrative law judge of a complaint that plaintiff had made to the Department of Motor Vehicles, and that, even if the issue of defendant's negligence could be reviewed, the evidence adduced at trial did not support plaintiff's claim of negligence or damages.

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 (UDCA 1804, 1807; see Ross v Friedman, 269 AD2d 584 [2000]; Williams v Roper, 269 AD2d 125, 126 [2000]). The issue of defendant's alleged negligence was not subject to review as it had been previously determined against plaintiff by an administrative law judge of the Department of Motor Vehicles (see Ryan v New York Tel. Co., 62 NY2d 494, 499 [1984]; see generally Smith v Russell Sage Coll., 54 NY2d 185, 192-193 [1981]; O'Brien v City of Syracuse, 54 NY2d 353, 357-58 [1981]). In any event, were the issue of defendant's negligence subject to review in this action, we would agree with the District Court's finding that plaintiff had failed at trial to establish defendant's negligent conduct or plaintiff's damages.

Accordingly, the judgment is affirmed.

Molia, J.P., Nicolai and Iannacci, JJ., concur. Decision Date: December 20, 2012

20121220

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