Court of Appeals Broadens Ability of Persons To Recover for Injuries Caused by Negligently Operated Emergency Vehicles

A bit of a chill swept through the plaintiffs bar in 1994 when the Court of Appeals, New Yorks highest court, held that persons injured in motor vehicle accidents could not recover damages for injuries caused by municipal motor vehicles responding to an emergency responsible for the damages unless it could be proven that the driver a showing of reckless disregard for the safety of others, a much higher standard than the usual negligence. The court’s interpretation in Saarinen v. Kerr, 84 N.Y.2d 494 of section 1104 of the Vehicle and Traffic Law (“VTL”) caused attorneys to give great … Read the rest

Move Over Act Requires Drivers On The Road To Make Room For Ambulances, Police Cars And Other Emergency Vehicles

Hoping to protect emergency responders on highways from themselves becoming involved in a motor vehicle accident, effective January 1, 2011, a new law in New York State, the Ambrose-Searles Move Over Act requires drivers to exercise due care to avoid colliding with an authorized emergency vehicle which is parked, stopped or standing on the shoulder of a road or highway with its emergency lights activated. Drivers must reduce speed on all roads when encountering such vehicles. Importantly, on parkways, interstates, and other controlled access highways with multiple lanes, drivers are further required to move from the lane immediately adjacent to … Read the rest

New York Drivers Dissed in 2010 GMAC Insurance National Drivers Test

New York drivers ranked last in the 2010 GMAC Insurance National Drivers Test. The test found that nearly 1 in 5 licensed drivers roughly 38 million Americans would not pass a written drivers test exam if taken today. Kansas drivers ranked first in the nation (82.3 percent average score); New York drivers ranked last (70 percent average score). The national average score decreased to 76.2 percent from 76.6 percent in 2009.

The results were reported by state, age and sex. Some specific questions involving safe following distances and yellow lights posed particular difficulty. Seventy-three percent of drivers could not properly … Read the rest

Death of New York Rangers Star Prospect Sparks Attention to Adequacy of Emergency Medical Presence at Sporting Events

When New York Rangers prospect Alexei Cherepanov suddenly collapsed on the bench during a Kontinental Hockey League (KHL) hockey game at a Moscow region arena on October 13, 2008, the lack of preparedness for such an occurrence was startling.  The player was carried from the bench area without a stretcher, and no ambulance or working defibrillator was available.  The absence of a rink-side stretcher, on-duty ambulance and working defibrillator, as well as a 15-minute wait for the arrival of a hospital ambulance, have been cited as evidence of an exceedingly poor level of organization that may have cost the young … Read the rest