N.Y. Court Upholds $21 Million Vicarious Liability Award

November 22, 2005

The New York State Supreme Court, Appellate Division, First Department, has awarded $21 million to an accident victim, setting what is believed to be a record $8 million for future pain and suffering.

The case could also be one of the last vicarious liability cases that will be heard against a car leasing firm because the federal highway act repealed the state law this past summer.

The case involved a 25-year-old pedestrian who was rendered a paraplegic when struck down in Manhattan in an accident caused by a Budget Rent A Car in November 2000.

The plaintiff was represented by Kreindler & Kreindler LLP of New York. The case was tried in New York County by Marc S. Moller and David C. Cook of Kreindler.

In January 2005, Supreme Court trial judge Milton A. Tingling
Jr., JSC, upheld $20.3 million of a $24.5 million December 2003 jury verdict, one of the highest such verdicts ever returned and affirmed in New York State.

The appeal was argued before the Appellate Court on October 27, 2005.

“This may be the last of the vicarious liability cases holding rental car companies responsible for the negligence of their operators, as the law of vicarious liability was revoked in August by the Federal Government’s passage of the Graves Amendment to the Federal Transportation Funding bill,” noted Cook.

Topics New York

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