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May 22, 2006

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Eddie

"Had the bus been parked legally, perhaps the argument would be weakened somewhat."

Huh? Perhaps I misread your post but are you actually saying that even if the bus was *legally* parked the pltf in this case might still have a case against the bus company? How is that possible?

"It's hard for me to stomach the fact that the plaintiff appears to now have no recourse for his injuries."

He does have a recourse for his injuries, against the driver of the car that ran the red light and the one who caused the accident by running said light. The fact that pltf wasn't injured in the initial impact doesn't change this. Pltf also has two deep pockets still in the case in the form of the City of Buffalo and Erie County.

With two dissents I can see the Court of Appeals taking a look at this one.

NBlack

Eddie,

Perhaps I should have said that the argument would certainly be weakened if the bus was parked legally. I may have phrased that in an unclear manner, but was simply recognizing that the fact that the bus was illegally parked was the linchpin of the argument. I've changed my post accordingly, since you raise a good point.

Obviously a car (or bus) parked legally bears no fault in the event that another car crashes into it. I was thinking out loud, as I tend to do when dashing off a quick post to my blog. Sometimes my thought processes aren't all that they could be--especially when I post under less than ideal conditions. Thanks for pointing that out.

As for your second comment, I'm not so sure that I agree. Negligence requires proof that a breach of a duty *caused* an injury. The Court concluded (and the dissent reiterated this) that the plaintiff's injuries were not caused by the first impact.

It appears that the only defendant left is the driver of the car that ran the red light (see below), and in my opinion, there is arguably a causation issue, or, at least, in the eyes of a jury there might be. I could see a jury concluding that since the second impact--into the illegally parked bus--caused the injuries, then the driver of that bus is liable for the injuries, as opposed to the car that caused the first impact, and since that party (the bus) is not a defendant, then there's no recourse available for the plaintiff.

Furthermore, the Complaints against all defendants were dismissed, as is evidenced by this statement at the end of the dissent: "We therefore would reverse the order, deny the motions of defendant and the City and the cross motion of the County and reinstate the amended complaint and cross claims against them and remit the matter to Supreme Court to determine plaintiffs' cross motion."

Who knows how deep the remaining defendant's pocket is? If the plaintiff was fighting to keep the municipal defendants in, my guess is that there may very well be an issue in that regard.

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