Appellate Division, Fourth Department
Motor Vehicle Accident
Right-of-way — Inconsequential Speeding
Heltz v. Erie Logistics, LLC
Appealed from Supreme Court, Erie County
Background: The plaintiff commenced a negligence action after her vehicle was struck by a truck operated and owned by the defendants. The accident occurred while the plaintiff was entering an intersection. The defendant truck had the right-of-way and there was no stop sign or traffic control device at the intersection. The plaintiff appealed from an order dismissing her complaint.
Ruling: The Appellate Division affirmed. The court held that the defendants had met their burden that the vehicle was being operated in a lawful and prudent manner. The defendant, as having the right-of-way, was entitled to anticipate that other drivers will obey traffic laws requiring them to yield. Further, the plaintiff’s contention that the defendant may have been driving approximately five miles over the speed limit is inconsequential as there is no indication that the defendant could have avoided the accident had he been traveling at or below the posted speed limit.
Scott R. Hapeman of Personius Melber for the plaintiff-appellant; Andrew J. Kowaleski of Barth Sullivan Behr for the defendants-respondents