First Department Grants Summary Judgment on Proximate Cause in a Traffic Signal Case

January 28, 2016

Partners James Walsh and Amy Kramer successfully appealed the denial of summary judgment involving a traffic signal contractor and the City of New York. Plaintiff claimed significant personal injuries as a result of a motor vehicle accident and alleged that the traffic signals were malfunctioning and contributed to the happening of the accident. Plaintiff was faced with a flashing yellow signal and the defendant driver was faced with a flashing red signal. Mr. Walsh and Ms. Kramer successfully demonstrated to the Court that both drivers were aware of the flashing traffic signals as they neared the intersection, understood what the signals meant, and that the signals did not cause confusion to the drivers. On that basis, the First Department found that the condition of the traffic signal was not the proximate cause of the accident, and awarded summary judgment to the contractor and the City of New York.