Published on:

Appellate Division reversed

A New York DWI Lawyer said that, at 3:57 p.m. on September 20, 2004, defendant a road patrol deputy in the Monroe County Sheriff’s Office, was on routine patrol in a marked police vehicle when he received a radio dispatch from the Office of Emergency Communications dispatch or “911 center” directing him to respond to a stolen vehicle report at an address in Henrietta, New York. At the time, he was heading south on West Henrietta Road, nearing a traffic light at the intersection of West Henrietta Road and Brighton Henrietta Town Line Road, which marks the border between the Towns of Brighton (on the north side) and Henrietta (on the south side).

Defendant soon received a second radio dispatch, which requested backup for another officer who was responding to a burglary alarm at a location in Henrietta. Because the 911 center categorized the burglary alarm as “classification one” meaning “a serious call that needs immediate attention” the deputy acknowledged the request, telling the dispatcher that he would assist with the burglary alarm before addressing the stolen vehicle report, which was assigned a higher classification and therefore a lower priority. At 4:02 p.m., the dispatcher transmitted information about the burglary call, including the address and the names of cross streets, to the mobile data terminal inside the deputy’s vehicle.

A New York Drunk Driving Lawyer said that, defendant did not activate the emergency lights or siren on his vehicle; he was traveling at a speed of 25 to 30 miles per hour in a 40–mile–per–hour zone, and does not recall if he speeded up or slowed down after receiving the dispatch. The deputy explained that he was not familiar with the location of the burglary alarm, and “due to the amount of traffic during that time of day, he didn’t want to initiate any emergency equipment without knowing where he was positively going.” He therefore touched the terminal and “looked down for two to three seconds” at the display “to view the names of the cross streets.” When the deputy lifted his gaze, he realized that “traffic had slowed.” Although he immediately applied his brakes, he was unable to stop before rear ending the vehicle in front of him, which was driven by plaintiff. There are three southbound lanes—two through lanes and a left-hand-turn lane—at the intersection of West Henrietta Road and Brighton Henrietta Town Line Road. Plaintiff testified that she was traveling in the left travel lane. She had stopped for a red traffic light, and was just beginning to move forward slowly toward the congested intersection when her car was hit.

A New York Criminal Lawyer said that, in October 2005 and February 2006 Plaintiff brought actions, subsequently consolidated, against Monroe County, defendant and others, alleging serious injury under New York’s No–Fault Law. In May 2008, defendants moved for summary judgment to dismiss the complaints, and in July 2008, Plaintiff cross-moved for partial summary judgment on liability. The parties disputed whether Vehicle and Traffic Law § 1104 applied; making defendant liable for the accident only if he acted with “reckless disregard for the safety of others”.

To be Cont…

The reckless disregard standard of care in Vehicle and Traffic Law § 1104(e) only applies when a driver of an authorized emergency vehicle involved in an emergency operation engages in the specific conduct exempted from the rules of the road by Vehicle and Traffic Law § 1104(b). Any other injury-causing conduct of such a driver is governed by the principles of ordinary negligence. If you are involved in a similar case, seek the help of a New York DWI Defense Attorney and New York Criminal Attorney at Stephen Bilkis and Associates. Call us now.

Posted in:
Published on:

Comments are closed.

Contact Information