The Second Department, reversing Supreme Court, determined plaintiff had raised a question of fact whether defendant police officer, Breen, was in fact involved in an emergency operation at the time she collided with the car in which plaintiff was a passenger. Therefore there was a question of fact whether the ordinary negligence principles, as opposed the reckless disregard standard, applied:
“[T]he reckless disregard standard of care in Vehicle and Traffic Law § 1104(e) only applies when a driver of an authorized emergency vehicle involved in an emergency operation engages in the specific conduct exempted from the rules of the road by Vehicle and Traffic Law § 1104(b). Any other injury-causing conduct of such a driver is governed by the principles of ordinary negligence” … .
Here, the defendants established, prima facie, that a negligence standard of care was inapplicable to Breen’s conduct, through the submission of evidence establishing that Breen was responding to another officer in need of assistance when she entered the intersection against a red traffic light and collided with the plaintiff’s vehicle … . In opposition, however, the plaintiff raised triable issues of fact as to whether Breen was in fact responding to the other officer’s call at the time of the accident and, therefore, whether the negligence standard should apply … . Modica v City of New York, 2021 NY Slip Op 02287, Second Dept 4-14-21