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Appellate Success for Brian D. Carr in Trucking Action

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Brian D. Carr secured a reversal of an unfavorable Decision of the lower court on behalf of his client, a commercial motor vehicle client, in New York’s Appellate Division, Third Department.

The case stems from a highway accident involving three vehicles. The three vehicles were traveling, one in front of the other, with plaintiff driving the lead vehicle. Behind her was the second vehicle, a tractor-trailer owned and operated by the co-defendants. Carter Conboy’s clients owned and operated the third vehicle, a tractor-trailer that was traveling behind the co-defendants' truck. It was undisputed that there was a minimum of two collisions during the accident: the middle vehicle struck the rear of the plaintiff’s vehicle, and the third vehicle made contact with the rear of the middle vehicle.

Shortly after discovery began, and before any deposition testimony had been taken, the plaintiff moved for Summary Judgment against all defendants on the basis that, since she was driving the lead vehicle in a rear-end collision, she was entitled to a presumption that the vehicles behind her were at fault. Carter Conboy opposed the Motion, arguing that it was premature and submitted an Affidavit from the driver of its clients' tractor-trailer, which stated that his truck only made contact with the co-defendants' middle vehicle after that vehicle had already struck the plaintiff’s vehicle. Despite this opposition, the lower court granted plaintiff’s Motion for Summary Judgment, and also—without being asked to do so by any party—determined that the co-defendants' middle vehicle was not at fault and dismissed the claims and cross-claims against the co-defendants.

Carter Conboy appealed the lower court’s decision to the Appellate Division, Third Department, arguing principally that it was error for the court to grant Summary Judgment to any party at such an early point in litigation, before any depositions had been conducted, and also that the Affidavits submitted by the plaintiff and the driver of the middle vehicle lacked sufficient detail to support the lower court’s Decision. The Appellate Division, Third Department unanimously agreed with these arguments and reversed the lower court’s Decision in its entirety.

Brian D. Carr is a Director at Carter Conboy. Mr. Carr concentrates his practice in the defense of litigation claims, primarily involving the defense of transportation, construction and labor law, product liability, professional malpractice, premises liability, and personal injury liability claims. He regularly protects the interests of small and large trucking and transportation industry clients in the federal and state courts of New York, as well as in arbitrations, administrative hearings, and before state and federal agencies. He is also an Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association Panel Attorney providing representation and consultation in various aviation-related matters.  Mr. Carr is a Martindale-Hubbell AV® Preeminent rated attorney and the current President of the Defense Research Institute (DRI) of Northeastern New York.  In addition his law degree, he holds a master’s degree in business administration and is a licensed commercial pilot with instrument and multi-engine ratings. Mr. Carr can be reached at 518.810-0523 or bcarr@carterconboy.com.

Carter Conboy is a Martindale-Hubbell AV® Preeminent™ peer rated full-service law firm committed to providing the highest quality legal representation to its clients. Founded in 1920, Carter Conboy has offices in Albany and Saratoga Springs, New York, serving clients throughout New York, Massachusetts, New Jersey and New Hampshire. For additional information about the firm, visit www.carterconboy.com or contact the firm’s Director of Marketing, Stacy A. Smith, at 518-810-0516 or ssmith@carterconboy.com.