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New York Court Rules on Appeal Regarding Car Accident Case, Partial Summary Judgement Awarded to Plaintiff


The plaintiff in this case was Augustin Lopez. The defendant was Mark Senatore.

The Appeal

The appeal in this case was filed in regards to an initial ruling made in January of 1983 by the Supreme Court of Kings County. The original case was a negligence action that sought to recover damaged as a result of damage to property and personal injuries sustained by the plaintiff. A New York Injury Lawyer said the Supreme Court denied the plaintiff’s motion for a partial summary judgment. A cross-appeal was filed by the defendant that requested the action dismissed based on the claim that any injuries did not meet the requirement of serious injury. This cross-appeal was abandoned.

The defendants were granted a summary judgment on the first cause of action regarding the recovery of damaged for personal injuries. The plaintiffs were also granted a partial summary judgment on the second cause of action. This entailed recovery for damaged sustained by property. Further proceedings consistent with this were remitted to the Kings County Supreme Court.


The original incident in the case took place when the defendant’s car backed into the plaintiff’s parked car. The plaintiff was in the parked car at the time of the accident. The plaintiff initially sought damages for the property damage done to the automobile and for injuries that he sustained.

A summary judgment regarding liability was requested by the plaintiff. The defendants referred to subdivision 4 of section 671 of the Insurance Law, claiming that the requirements for serious injury were not met. As a result, they cross-moved that the action. The initial motion and subsequent cross-motion were both denied.

Summary Judgments

Summary judgments are only offered when certain criteria are met. A Queens Personal Injury Lawyer said the mover for a summary judgment must submit admissible evidence that proves that court should clearly judge in his favor. It is important to note that even after the initial cross-motion to dismiss the complaint was denied, that a summary judgment could still be offered in favor of the defendant. This could occur if the record is searched in the process of reviewing the denial of the plaintiff’s request for a summary judgment and evidence is found which indicates that a summary judgment is appropriate for the defendant instead.

Insurance Law

The applicable section of the Insurance Law says that non-economic loss caused in a motor-vehicle accident can only be obtained if “serious injury” has occurred. Serious injury is defined by subdivision 4 section 471 of the Insurance Law.

Serious Injury

Upon review of the case, it appears that the plaintiff was unable to prove that “serious injury” occurred. An affidavit offered by the plaintiff’s doctor fails to establish enough permanency of the injuries to qualify them as serious as defined in insurance law.

Results 1. As a result of the failure to establish serious injury, the defendant’s deserved summary judgment against the initial action cause which aimed to recover damaged based on the injuries sustained by the plaintiff.

2. Summary judgment was granted to the plaintiff on the basis of property damage. Because the plaintiff was parked, his conduct was not an issue in the case. A Staten Island Personal Injury Lawyer said the defendant, on the other hand, was operating the vehicle in a matter that falls beneath the acceptable standards for care. No conflict in the evidence emerged which would prevent a summary judgment.

Stephen Bilkis & Associates can assist you in determining what types of legal actions are appropriate in any situation, whether you have been in a car accident, or have been the victim of another’s negligence. We will examine your particular set of circumstances to help you find a solution that will ensure the protection of your interests. We’re located throughout the greater New York area. Call our offices to receive a complimentary legal consultation.

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