Supreme Court, Kings County grants summary judgment on proximate cause in traffic signal case.

July 2018

Supreme Court, Kings County Court granted summary judgment to the City of New York and Welsbach Electric Corp. in a motor vehicle case in which it was alleged that the traffic signals, which were being repaired at the time, contributed to the accident. The plaintiff was claiming significant personal injuries. The Court found that where it was undisputed that: the traffic signal on one corner of the intersection was temporarily disconnected for Welsbach to perform its work; the other traffic signal at the intersection was operating properly; the driver faced with the disconnected traffic signal could see the operational traffic signal; and each driver alleged that they had a green signal at the time, it was a  “question of lights” case and there was no issue of fact as to whether the inoperable traffic signal was a proximate of the accident.  As the proximate cause of the accident was the actions of the drivers and not the condition of the traffic signals, summary judgment was awarded and the matter was dismissed as to the City of New York and Welsbach.