The Second Department, reversing Supreme Court, determined there was a question of fact whether defendant police officer, Benbow, violated the reckless disregard standard of care in this traffic accident case. Plaintiff was the driver’s partner in the police car which collided with another car in an intersection when the driver was pursuing a car with excessively tinted windows:
… [There is] a triable issue of fact as to whether Benbow acted with reckless disregard for the safety of others. In contrast to Benbow’s deposition testimony that he stopped at the red light and looked in both directions before slowly proceeding into the intersection against the red light, the plaintiff testified at her deposition that she and Benbow were responding to a call of a security alarm at a school, that Benbow did not stop before entering the intersection, that he was going to turn right and looked only to the left, that after he had entered the intersection he said that he “saw something” and suddenly accelerated and turned to the left, without ever looking to the right, that the plaintiff saw Ilyaich’s vehicle and said “watch out,” and that in response, Benbow then looked to the right, but did not attempt to move the police vehicle away from the collision … . Thompson v City of New York, 2022 NY Slip Op 06733, Second Dept 11-23-22
Practice Point: In this case there was no dispute that the reckless disregard standard applied to the police officer driving the police car in which plaintiff, his partner, was a passenger. There was a question of fact whether the driver violated the reckless disregard standard leading to a collision in an intersection.