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Tarnavska v. Manhattan & Bronx Surface Transit Operating Authority

Supreme Court of New York, Second Department

May 29, 2013

Olena Tarnavska, appellant,
v.
Manhattan and Bronx Surface Transit Operating Authority, et al., respondents. Index No. 25440/07

Sim & Record, LLP, Bayside, N.Y. (Sang J. Sim of counsel), for appellant.

Steve S. Efron, New York, N.Y. (Renee L. Cyr of counsel), for respondents.

PETER B. SKELOS, J.P., L. PRISCILLA HALL, PLUMMER E. LOTTSYLVIA HINDS-RADIX, JJ.

DECISION & ORDER

In an action to recover damages for personal injuries, the plaintiff appeals from an order of the Supreme Court, Kings County (Velasquez, J.), dated October 3, 2011, which granted the defendants' motion for summary judgment dismissing the complaint.

ORDERED that the order is affirmed, with costs.

The plaintiff allegedly sustained injuries when she was thrown to the floor after the bus in which she was riding stopped short to avoid a collision with a vehicle that, without signaling, had suddenly cut in front of it to make a left turn.

The "emergency doctrine holds that those faced with a sudden and unexpected circumstance, not of their own making, that leaves them with little or no time for reflection or reasonably causes them to be so disturbed that they are compelled to make a quick decision without weighing alternate courses of conduct, may not be negligent if their actions are reasonable and prudent in the context of the emergency" (Bello v Transit Auth. of N.Y. City, 12 A.D.3d 58, 60; see Rivera v New York City Tr. Auth., 77 N.Y.2d 322, 327; Parastatidis v Holbrook Rental Ctr., Inc., 95 A.D.3d 975; Davis v Metropolitan Tr. Auth., 92 A.D.3d 825; Williams v City of New York, 88 A.D.3d 989; Villar v MTA Bus Co., 80 A.D.3d 602; Miloscia v New York City Bd. of Educ., 70 A.D.3d 904, 905).

Here, the defendants established their prima facie entitlement to judgment as a matter of law by submitting evidence demonstrating that the defendant bus driver was confronted with a sudden and unexpected circumstance not of her own making and that, under the circumstances, her actions were reasonable and prudent in response to the emergency (see Villar v MTA Bus Co., 80 A.D.3d 602; Miloscia v New York City Bd. of Educ., 70 A.D.3d 904). In opposition, the plaintiff's speculative and conclusory assertions failed to raise a triable issue of fact (see Miloscia v New York City Bd. of Educ., 70 A.D.3d at 905).

Accordingly, the Supreme Court properly granted the defendants' motion for summary judgment dismissing the complaint.

SKELOS, J.P., HALL, LOTT and HINDS-RADIX, JJ., concur.


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