In Margolin v Friedman (43 N.Y.2d 982, 983, affg 57 A.D.2d 763), we refused to hold the builder and operator of a car wash liable for injuries occasioned when a driver negligently stepped on the accelerator pedal instead of the brake after detachment from the facility's towing mechanism.Summary of this case from Stone v. Williams
Argued February 9, 1978
Decided March 21, 1978
Appeal from the Appellate Division of the Supreme Court in the First Judicial Department, SAMUEL A. SPIEGEL, J.
Thomas Moore and Norman E. Frowley for appellant.
Robert H. Tell and Solomon M. Cheser for Crown Car Wash, Inc., respondent.
Douglas A. Boeckmann for 670 Coney Island Avenue, Inc., respondent.
This accident occurred when an automobile driven by a patron of the car wash went out of control. The only basis for liability against defendants, one which constructed and the other which operated the car wash, are the allegations that the premises were improperly designed and maintained, and that there was an absence of a warning sign. The courts have rejected attempts by plaintiffs in similar circumstances to show a causal connection between the design or maintenance of the premises and negligent operation of a vehicle (see, e.g., Weber v City of New York, 24 A.D.2d 618, affd 17 N.Y.2d 790; Tauraso v Texas Co., 275 App. Div. 856, affd 300 N.Y. 567; cf. Pulka v Edelman, 40 N.Y.2d 781). In essence, the accident happened as a result of the driver's failure to control his vehicle. The premises "merely furnished the condition or occasion for the occurrence of the event rather than one of its causes" (Sheehan v City of New York, 40 N.Y.2d 496, 503; see Rivera v City of New York, 11 N.Y.2d 856).
Accordingly, the order of the Appellate Division should be affirmed, with costs.
Chief Judge BREITEL and Judges JASEN, GABRIELLI, JONES, WACHTLER and COOKE concur in memorandum; Judge FUCHSBERG taking no part.