Summary Judgment Granted Finding no Legal Duty Owed by Town of Islip or its Streetlight Maintenance Contractor

March 25, 2010

Jim Walsh recently obtained summary judgment on behalf of Welsbach Electric Corp., L.I. (“WEC LI”).  The lawsuit, venued in Suffolk County, arose from the death of a pedestrian who was struck by an automobile while crossing the street.  Plaintiff’s estate alleged that the Town of Islip (the “Town”) and WEC LI negligently maintained the street lights in the area where the accident occurred.

WEC LI’s motion for summary judgment argued that a municipality such as the Town owes no legal duty to the general public to provide street lighting unless illumination is necessary to avoid a dangerous or potentially hazardous condition.  A “non-functioning street light,” even on a busy roadway, does not render the street unreasonably dangerous.  By extension, we argued that the Town’s streetlight maintenance contractor owed no greater legal duty. The court agreed and dismissed all claims against both WEC LI and the Town.