Summary Judgment Granted on Motion for Senior Associate Steve Gokberk

Senior Associate Steve Gokberk obtains summary judgment in Suffolk County on the issue of liability for our 35-year-old male client following a motor vehicle accident. As a result of this accident, our client underwent four surgeries, including one shoulder surgery, two surgeries to his right knee and one surgery to his left knee.

The accident occurred when the defendant attempted a left turn in front of our client. The intersection was controlled by overhead traffic lights and the roadway the defendant attempted to turn into was closed to traffic. We argued that the defendant violated Vehicle and Traffic Law § 1141 by making a left turn instead of yielding the right of way and that the violation was the sole proximate cause of the accident.

Plaintiff testified that he was proceeding straight with the green light when he observed the defendant make a sudden left turn directly in front of his vehicle as he entered the intersection. Although our client took evasive actions to avoid the collision, he had only seconds to react, and his vehicle was struck.

During our questioning, the defendant testified that she did not see plaintiff’s vehicle as it was approaching the intersection or when she made the left turn. The defendant’s admission constituted negligence in failing to see what was there to be seen. The Court held that defendant’s argument that there were inconsistencies in plaintiff’s testimony as unavailing. “Plaintiff had the right-of-way and was entitled to anticipate that defendant would obey the traffic rules requiring her to yield to oncoming vehicles.” Thus, plaintiff’s motion for summary judgment was granted.