This case involves the plaintiffs John and Meredith Walters versus the defendants the City of New York, Mohamed A. Khamis, and Marcelin Papilon and the plaintiffs Michael F. and Veronica Schunk versus the City of New York, Mohamed A. Khamis, and Marcelin Papilon and the plaintiff Mohamed Khamis versus the defendant the City of New York Fire Department. The case is being heard in the Supreme Court of the State of New York located in New York County. Judge Matthey F. Cooper is overseeing the case.
This case involves three personal injury actions, Walters, Schunk, against the City of New York and Khamis versus the City of New York Fire Department. The defendant, the City of New York has motioned for a summary judgment in all of the cases.
The accident involved a collision of a taxicab with a New York City Fire Department Rescue Truck. The taxi slammed into the back of a fire truck and pinned the firefighters John Walters and Michael Schunk between the car and the truck, crushing their legs. Mohammed A. Khamis was driving the cab and claims injury as well.
The accident occurred on the 19th of July when the plaintiffs Schunk and Walters along with four other firefighters were working their shift from 6 pm to 9am on Rescue 1. Rescue 1 was returning to the fire station after response in an emergency call. At approximately 11:40 pm, the truck stopped on Columbus Avenue for dinner.
There was no space to park the Rescue 1 vehicle without blocking a cross walk so the driver of the vehicle double parked the truck on the eastern most travel lane on Columbus Avenue. The men left the vehicle and went to the restaurant to order their dinner. As they were still on duty and may receive an emergency call at any time, one of the men was required to stay with the truck.
Walters and Schunk returned to the Rescue 1 vehicle after purchasing their dinner. They waited at the back of the truck for the others to return. It was during this time that a taxi driven by Khamis hit the vehicle in the rear.
Khamis states that he was cut off by a vehicle and forced to swerve into the eastern most lane. As soon as he swerved into the lane he hit the Rescue 1 vehicle and pinned the two firefighters.
Case Discussion and Decision
The City claims that the two firefighters were not acting as part of their duty when the accident occurred. However, the officers were on duty at the time and were simply obtaining dinner.
This can be seen as part of their duties as there is no dinner break provided to the firefighters during their shift. While the two were not instructed to stand behind the truck, they were on duty and ready to respond should an emergency arise.
After reviewing all of the information provided by the plaintiffs and the arguments provided by the defendant the City of New York, it is found that there is triable evidence in this case. For this reason, the summary judgment motions made by the defendant are denied in all three cases.
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