The Second Department, reversing Supreme Court, determined defendant in this traffic accident case demonstrated plaintiff violated the Vehicle and Traffic Law by unreasonably making a left turn, which constitutes negligence per se:
… [T]he defendant established her prima facie entitlement to judgment as a matter of law dismissing the complaint by submitting evidence that the plaintiff’s conduct in making a left turn directly into the path of the defendant’s vehicle without yielding the right-of-way to the defendant, in violation of Vehicle and Traffic Law § 1141, and when it was not reasonably safe to make a left turn, in violation of Vehicle and Traffic Law § 1163(a), was the sole proximate cause of the accident … . The issue of proximate cause may be decided as a matter of law where, as here, only one conclusion may be drawn from the established facts … . Lylan Pham v Lee, 2023 NY Slip Op 04200, Second Dept 8-9-23
Practice Point: Causing a traffic accident by making an unreasonable left turn into defendant’s lane of traffic in violation of the Vehicle and Traffic Law is negligence per se.
Practice Point: A judge at the summary judgment stage can determine the proximate cause of a traffic accident as a matter of law if there is only one conclusion which can be drawn from the facts.