The First Department, reversing Supreme Court, determined there was a question of fact whether the reckless standard applied in this pedestrian-police car traffic accident case. The court noted that the governmental function immunity doctrine does not apply to this scenario:
The governmental function immunity doctrine does not apply in this case where plaintiff pedestrian was injured when she was struck by a police vehicle that was allegedly pursuing a vehicle that had committed a traffic infraction … . Instead, where a plaintiff alleges that a municipality and/or its employees were negligent in the ownership or operation of an authorized emergency vehicle while engaged in one of the activities protected by Vehicle and Traffic Law § 1104(b), the “reckless disregard” standard set forth in Vehicle and Traffic Law § 1104(e) applies … .
Here, a factual issue exists as to whether defendants were engaged in a protected activity under Vehicle and Traffic Law § 1104(b), namely, proceeding past a steady red signal (see Vehicle and Traffic Law § 1104[b]), while pursuing a vehicle for a traffic violation so as to apply the reckless standard of care as opposed to ordinary negligence principles … . Santana v City of New York, 2019 NY Slip Op 01348, First Dept 2-26-19