New York State Supreme Court, Appellate Division, Fourth Judicial Department
Highway – Duty of care
Nicholas T. v. Town of Tonawanda, et al.
Appealed from the Supreme Court, Erie County
Background: The decedent was killed when she was struck by a vehicle while crossing a road, which comprised the boundary between the defendant towns. The plaintiffs appealed from an order granting the defendants’ motions to dismiss on the grounds that the road is a state highway and thus the defendants had no duty of care regarding the road.
Ruling: The Appellate Division affirmed. The court held that a municipality has no duty to maintain in a reasonably safe condition a road it does not own or control unless it affirmatively undertakes such a duty.
Jill Wnek, of Feroleto Law, for the plaintiffs-appellants; Joseph H. Emminger, Jr., of Walsh Roberts & Grace, and Stephen N. Sorrels, of Hurwitz Fine, for the defendants—respondents.