Articles Posted in Manhattan

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In 1958, a company obtained an insurance policy for a truck that was routinely operated in the course of their business. On day during the coverage of this policy, the Queens business owner’s nephew was driving the truck and caused a commercial truck accident. The insurance company stated that they did not feel that they should be responsible for the accident because the nephew was not specifically listed to drive the vehicle. There is no argument that the nephew was at fault in the accident itself.

The Manhattan company owner argues that the policy itself clearly states that it covers any person who is driving the vehicle. The issue of if the owner had given permission to his nephew to drive the truck was not addressed during the trial of the issue. The policy states that it will insure not only the company owner, but also, any “person while using the vehicle with his permission.” The court points out that “the duty to defend is broader than the duty to pay.” Goldberg v. Lumber Mutual Casualty Ins. Co., 297 N.Y. 148, 154, 77 N.E.2d 131, 133.

The court points out that the entire issue of whether or not the insurance company is liable for the compensation that was awarded to the injured parties in this case would have been moot if the insurance company had simply represented the nephew in the first place. If they had done that, then their rights as well as the nephew’s rights would have been protected. Since they did not, the injured parties are allowed by law to seek compensation from the insurance company since the nephew either was not able to pay or simply did not pay the compensation ordered by the court.

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October 29, 1954 a Manhattan husband and father of two died because of an accident while he was working for a machine company. On that day, the man was walking back toward his company truck that he had parked a few moments before. He had been talking to some of the other employees and was going back to get into his truck. A few minutes after walking away from them, the other workmen heard him fall and turned around to see the employee on the ground with his hands on his head. He was about ten feet from the rear wheel of his truck.

None of the other employees saw what happened before he fell or even how he fell. There was speculation that he had fallen off of his truck, but no one actually saw him fall. The truck had mud on the tires and wheel wells, the fallen employee had no mud on him. The employee had a fracture to his skull and had suffered a stroke before dying. The issue here is which came first. Did he have a stroke and then fall fracturing his skull or did he fall, fracture his skull and the fracture led to the stroke. The only evidence presented at trial of a fall from the truck was on the attending physician report and that doctor stated that he had been told by one of the other employees that the victim had fallen off of the truck.

The company brought forth medical records from 1952 when that particular driver had been rehired by the company. The doctors who had examined him had recommended that he not be rehired because his health was not suitable for the job. The doctor at that time had diagnosed him as overweight, with excessive hypertension, arteriosclerosis and alcoholism. This brings the concern back to the medical report from the date of the Truck accident that lists the cause of the injury as a fall from a truck. The doctor testified that he obtained that information from other employees. Each of the employees that was present on that date has testified and each one stated that they did not tell the Queens doctor that they saw him fall from the truck. In fact, they each stated that he was about ten feet from the truck when he fell and none of them saw him fall.

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The records of the personal injury case showed that an eight-year old child was playing cops and robbers when he was struck by a car directly in front of a building owned and operated by a telephone company. The sources said the truck of the Manhattan telephone company was standing adjacent to and west of a vehicle parked near the easterly curb of the avenue where the accident happened. Thus, within the roadway of 32 feet, at the site of the truck accident, parked parallel, were three vehicles, two near the easterly curb and one near the westerly curb.

Prior to the occurrence of the truck accident, the child ran across the avenue from the west curb to the east curb. Upon arriving at the east curb, he was directly in front of the telephone company building; he then turned to retrace his steps in a westerly direction of the avenue and was struck down by one foot west of the telephone company’s truck by an automobile proceeding northerly. The Queens operator of the northbound vehicle testified that prior to the accident he had stopped for a red light and then made a right turn into the avenue traveling north toward the scene of the accident. He said he observed the double parked truck.

The right front headlight of the northbound vehicle came in contract with the child. The operator of the northbound vehicle said he did not see the child prior to the accident. The child also testified that he did not see the moving vehicle before the accident. The mother of the infant testified that children habitually played in front of the telephone company building.

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On July 2, 1998, the Supreme Court Appellate Division First Department of New York was called upon to decide the issues in a case possibly involving a commercial truck accident. On the date in question, an employee of a property management company was working in a 40 story building that was under construction. It was his responsibility to prepare the stock room and make sure that the tools required to operate the building were at hand. One of his duties was to read the water meters in the building. While he was walking along a sidewalk near the loading dock where the construction deliveries were made, a net that is suspended over this walkway to catch falling debris from the upper stories fell on him causing substantial physical injury.

There are numerous questions of fact as it regards the incidents in this case. Some of the witnesses claim that the accident was caused when a truck delivering glass to the site was backing along the side near where the net attaches to the building. They contend that a handle sticking up from the top of the truck snagged the netting and pulled the net down. Other witnesses state that the company that was hired to keep the debris removed from the net so that the net would not get weighted down failed in their duty to keep the net clean and the weight from debris piled up in the net caused the net to fall. Another theory is that the net fell frequently and was faulty.

The court was concerned with several of these issues. In particular they felt that the fact that the crank handles on the truck were enmeshed in the net following the accident did not demonstrate that the handles had snagged the net. They stated that it was not surprising that the crank handles should be enmeshed in a net that had fallen on the truck covering it.

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Defendant Hartford Fire Insurance Company (Hartford Co.) motions an order, in pursuit of CPLR 3212, which aims to dismiss the complaints of a truck driver and his wife, plaintiffs, on the specific ground that plaintiff is not actually insured under that of Hartford Co.’s insurance product and that he was not in fact an occupant of the insured truck at the time that the commercial truck accident happened. The Manhattan plaintiffs contradicted Hartford Co.’s expressed motion for summary judgment and made a cross motion for an order in pursuit of CPLR 3212, which purports to grant them summary judgment on the grounds of liability and goes down into the actual computation of damages and consequently in aid of NYCRR 60-2.3, which deems Hartford Co. to have given due consent in the aforesaid action amounting to a total of $25,000.

The aforesaid instant action is geared on uninsured motorist benefits wanted by the complainant in lieu with the said motor vehicle accident which took place on May 13, 2004 when the plaintiff, who stood outside of the delivery truck that he used for his job on making beer deliveries to various establishments, was suddenly hit by a box truck and was injured as he was pushed in between the box truck and his own delivery truck in the 18-wheeler crash. Following the aforesaid accident, Countrywide Insurance, the insurance carrier for the owner of the box truck, offered the full policy payment amounting to that of $25,000 to plaintiff. Subsequently, in accordance to filing a demand for settlement, the plaintiff then filed the aid instant lawsuit which seeks to recover underinsured motorist benefits that is under the SUM certification of the said policy which was issued by Hartford Co. to the employer of the complainant, Windmill Distributing Company, LP, which is doing business under the name of Phoenix Beverages, Inc. (Phoenix), that actually insured the said delivery truck which the plaintiff used in order to make deliveries. The Hartford Co. Policy actually provides underinsured motorist benefits which amounts to $1 million to the insured person as well as to any other occupant of a motor vehicle that is supposedly insured for SUM on the said policy.

In the statement given, the plaintiff further attested that he was actually newly employed by Phoenix on the day the accident happened. His job routine task at that time comprises of mainly driving the beer delivery truck as well as distributing the beer products to different establishments which includes beer distributors as well as bars. On that fateful day where he acquired personal injury in the accident, he went on the assigned delivery route which he was assigned to cover for a week.

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On April 20, 1972 a taxi cab and a truck were both travelling on Second Avenue near 70th Street. The two vehicles collided and the taxi was pushed up onto the sidewalk where it hit a woman. The woman was severely injured and her leg had to be amputated. The jury in the initial trial awarded the woman $800,000 from the taxi company. No compensation was demanded of the truck company whose truck was at fault for the accident in question.

The Court stated that:

‘Whatever version of the accident is accepted in whole or in part, or in combination, the conclusion is inescapable that the truck driver failed to maintain that degree of control over his vehicle and that degree of alertness to conditions of traffic surrounding him, which it was his legal obligation to maintain under the conditions prevailing at the time and place of the accident.’

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One day in July, a the driver of a truck owned by a car leasing company, and leased to a delivery company experienced recurrence of a mechanical problem with the truck in which the accelerator pedal occasionally sticks, does not elevate automatically when the driver’s foot is off it, and which the driver is able to correct only by tapping the pedal with his foot. The driver called the mechanics responsible for the maintenance of the truck who instructed him to drive the truck back into Manhattan.

In the afternoon, the truck was travelling westbound on the Long Island Expressway when the pedal stuck again as the truck was descending an incline. At that point the Expressway curved slightly to the left. The driver looked at the pedal for a moment, during which period the truck swerved on to the shoulder of the Expressway, striking two parked buses. A passenger in the bus suffered very severe injuries to his legs.

The passenger filed an action for damages against the truck driver and the bus companies. The bus companies denied liability arguing that the buses were not the proximate causes of the injuries sustained by the passenger.

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In the morning of October in 1969, a 40-year old woman was involved in a car accident and sustained serious personal injuries while operating her automobile eastbound on New York State Route 17. According to sources, the automobile struck a cement brick located on the roadway.

The Staten Island woman filed an action against a company manufacturing split limestone alleging that it had negligently loaded concrete building blocks upon a truck that it owned or controlled, with the result that one or more of these blocks fell on to the pavement of Route 17 and caused the unfortunate automobile accident. The manufacturing company has a policy of liability insurance.

An investigation on the accident was held and showed that prior to the day of the accident, the truck, while heading eastbound on Route 17, broke down a short distance to the east of Binghamton on Route 17. The truck was carrying split limestone, for delivery. The truck was towed to another location and the manufacturer borrowed another truck from a car leasing company. The borrowed truck was the one involved in the accident. The borrowed truck was also insured.

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One August, on the Manhattan Bridge, two trucks collided head-on. According to sources, the day was rainy and the road surface slippery. The roadway was constructed of steel-ribbing with recessed concrete fill, adding to the slipperiness of the surface. As a result of the impact, the driver of one truck was thrown from his truck and sustained personal injuries. The truck driver who sustained the injuries filed a complaint against the driver of the other truck to seek compensation for the damages he sustained.

The driver of the other truck disputed liability and the nature and extent of the injuries allegedly sustained by the other driver. According to the defendant truck driver, he is not liable for the accident and the injuries sustained by the other truck driver because it was not his fault that the accident occurred. He blamed the bad weather, which caused the road to be slippery and hazardous to vehicle drivers. The defendant truck driver also said the plaintiff truck driver did not suffer permanent personal injuries that would cause him to lose his earning capabilities.

According to records in the NYC court, the sole evidence on the cause of the truck accident came from witnesses presented by the plaintiff truck driver. The records also showed that the plaintiff truck driver was involved in a prior accident in 1946. In that accident, he sustained an injury to his back. In the 1950 accident, the truck driver said he suffered injuries to the back, in addition to a fracture of a facial bone. A medical doctor who examined the plaintiff truck driver affirmed that the truck driver indeed sustained injuries as a result of the 1950 accident, but the doctor said the allegations on the facial bone fracture is yet to be determined by further medical exams.

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The body of a 43-year-old mother of two was found by police in an industrial part on the eastern outskirts of Matamata. Officials believe she was the victim of a hit-and-run.

The woman was wearing dark clothing and no shoes.

The suspect was probably a truck driver who is thought to have gone back to see what he hit. The victim’s 26-year-old son said that a truck driver who thought he hit something near where the body was found contacted police. He had turned around to check whether he hit something but said he did not find anything at the time.

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