“Serious Injury” Threshold of No-Fault Law Held Not to Apply to Passenger Negligently Left Overnight Seat-Belted in School Bus

In Rivera v. Outstanding Transp., Inc., a handicapped person who was supposed to be transported to his home from F.E.G.S. Manhattan Day Habilitation Program in lower Manhattan was, instead of being returned home, remained in the bus as it was taken to a depot in Brooklyn where he remained overnight, unattended and unsupervised, in frigid temperatures. The bus driver subsequently pled guilty to Endangering the Welfare of an Incompetent or Physically Disabled Person. The bus driver and owner moved for summary judgment dismissing the complaint, and the motion was denied by Justice David I. Schmidt of Supreme Court, Kings County. … Read the rest

Recent Court Decision Highlights Need to Reform No-Fault Motor Vehicle Insurance Law to Include “Surgery” Within the Definition of “Serious Injury”

In 1975 New York enacted a “no-fault” insurance plan that in theory was designed to keep small cases involving motor vehicle accidents out of court in exchange for relatively immediate payment of expenses for hospital and medical bills and reimbursement of lost earnings without the injured party having to prove that the other party was at fault for the accident. One would think that needing to undergo surgery to repair injuries sustained in an accident would not be considered too small of a case to be allowed to proceed, particularly where the surgeon states that the injuries he observed during … Read the rest