From Casetext: Smarter Legal Research

Olmann v. Neil

Supreme Court, Appellate Division, Second Department, New York.
Oct 14, 2015
132 A.D.3d 744 (N.Y. App. Div. 2015)

Opinion

2015-10-14

Frantz OLMANN, appellant, v. Beatrice NEIL, et al., defendants, PV Holding Corp., et al., respondents.

Sacks and Sacks LLP, New York, N.Y. (Scott N. Singer of counsel), for appellant. Purcell & Ingrao, P.C., Mineola, N.Y. (Terrance J. Ingrao and Corey J. Pugliese of counsel), for respondents.



Sacks and Sacks LLP, New York, N.Y. (Scott N. Singer of counsel), for appellant. Purcell & Ingrao, P.C., Mineola, N.Y. (Terrance J. Ingrao and Corey J. Pugliese of counsel), for respondents.
WILLIAM F. MASTRO, J.P., JOHN M. LEVENTHAL, COLLEEN D. DUFFY, and BETSY BARROS, JJ.

In an action to recover damages for personal injuries, the plaintiff appeals from an order of the Supreme Court, Queens County (Butler, J.), entered July 8, 2014, which granted that branch of the motion of the defendants PV Holding Corp. and Andre Cooper which was for summary judgment dismissing the complaint insofar as asserted against the defendant PV Holding Corp.

ORDERED that the order is reversed, on the law, with costs, and that branch of the motion of the defendants PV Holding Corp. and Andre Cooper which was for summary judgment dismissing the complaint insofar as asserted against the defendant PV Holding Corp. is denied.

The complaint alleges that a vehicle operated by the plaintiff was struck by two other vehicles, including a vehicle owned by the defendant PV Holding Corp. (hereinafter PV Holding) and operated by the defendant Andre Cooper (hereinafter together the PV defendants). As pertinent here, the complaint alleges that PV Holding was negligent in failing to maintain and repair its vehicle. The PV defendants moved, inter alia, for summary judgment dismissing the complaint insofar as asserted against PV Holding, arguing that, pursuant to the Graves Amendment (49 U.S.C. § 30106), PV Holding was not liable for the plaintiff's injuries because it was engaged in the trade of renting motor vehicles, and the accident was not the result of any negligence on its part. In the order appealed from, the Supreme Court granted that branch of the PV defendants' motion. The plaintiff appeals, and we reverse.

Pursuant to the Graves Amendment (49 U.S.C. § 30106), generally, the owner of a leased or rented motor vehicle cannot be held liable for personal injuries resulting from the use of such vehicle if: (1) the owner is engaged in the trade or business of renting or leasing motor vehicles, and (2) there is no negligence or criminal wrongdoing on the part of the owner ( see49 U.S.C. § 30106[a]; Bravo v. Vargas, 113 A.D.3d 579, 580, 978 N.Y.S.2d 307; Ballatore v. HUB Truck Rental Corp., 83 A.D.3d 978, 979, 922 N.Y.S.2d 180). The Graves Amendment does not apply where, as here, a plaintiff seeks to hold a vehicle owner liable for the alleged failure to maintain a rented vehicle ( see Terranova v. Waheed Brokerage, Inc., 78 A.D.3d 1040, 1041, 912 N.Y.S.2d 253; Collazo v. MTA–New York City Tr., 74 A.D.3d 642, 905 N.Y.S.2d 30; Novovic v. Greyhound Lines, Inc., 2008 WL 5000228, 2008 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 94176 [E.D.N.Y., Nov. 19, 2008, No. CV–08–3190 (CPS) ] ). The PV defendants failed to establish, prima facie, PV Holding's entitlement to judgment as a matter of law. Although the PV defendants submitted evidence showing that PV Holding was engaged in the business of renting vehicles and that regular maintenance was performed on the subject vehicle, the PV defendants failed to submit any admissible evidence to demonstrate that the accident was not caused by the condition of the vehicle as a consequence of PV Holding's allegedly negligent failure to maintain it ( cf. Bravo v. Vargas, 113 A.D.3d at 580, 978 N.Y.S.2d 307; Ballatore v. HUB Truck Rental Corp., 83 A.D.3d 978, 922 N.Y.S.2d 180). As the PV defendants failed to satisfy their initial burden, the Supreme Court should have denied that branch of their motion which was for summary judgment dismissing the complaint insofar as asserted against PV Holding, regardless of the sufficiency of the opposing papers ( see Winegrad v. New York Univ. Med. Ctr., 64 N.Y.2d 851, 853, 487 N.Y.S.2d 316, 476 N.E.2d 642).


Summaries of

Olmann v. Neil

Supreme Court, Appellate Division, Second Department, New York.
Oct 14, 2015
132 A.D.3d 744 (N.Y. App. Div. 2015)
Case details for

Olmann v. Neil

Case Details

Full title:Frantz OLMANN, appellant, v. Beatrice NEIL, et al., defendants, PV Holding…

Court:Supreme Court, Appellate Division, Second Department, New York.

Date published: Oct 14, 2015

Citations

132 A.D.3d 744 (N.Y. App. Div. 2015)
132 A.D.3d 744
2015 N.Y. Slip Op. 7483

Citing Cases

Matos v. Jacques

On this motion record, it must be concluded that DTG failed to eliminate all triable issues of fact with…

Smith-Grant v. U-Haul Co. of Ariz.

sulting from the use of such vehicle if the owner (i) is engaged in the trade or business of renting or…