Last week, the Supreme Court Appellate Division, Second Department reversed a finding of summary judgment for the defendant in a Queens County driving while intoxicated action. At the time of the accident, the defendant’s car was being driven by a third party, a non-party to the action. Junaid Tarar, the defendant in the original action, pleaded guilty to vehicular assault and DWI. Subsequently, an action was brought against the owner of the car struck by Tarar. At the time of the accident, this car, owned by Louis Vlahakis, was being driven by a third party, a non-party to the action. The plaintiff brought suit against Vlahakis for his injuries in the accident.
Initially, the Supreme Court granted summary judgment for Vlahakis. On appeal, however, the Appellate Court ruled that Vlahakis did not, in fact, establish his case for summary judgment. He was unable to establish that the third party was operating his vehicle without his consent, and also did not prove his case for judgment as a matter of law with respect to the comparative negligence of the drivers. As such, the Appellate Division ruled that the Supreme Court incorrectly granted this summary judgment motion.
The full decision can be found here on the Second Department Official Reports website.