The Second Department, reversing Supreme Court, determined the reckless disregard standard applied in this traffic accident case involving a municipal snowplow:
“A snowplow operator ‘actually engaged in work on a highway’ is exempt from the rules of the road and may be held liable only for damages caused by an act done in ‘reckless disregard for the safety of others'” … . Reckless disregard requires more than a momentary lapse in judgment … . “This requires a showing that the operator acted in conscious disregard of a known or obvious risk that was so great as to make it highly probable that harm would follow” … .
Oviedo-Mejia [the snowplow driver] testified that he was traveling in reverse at a speed of five to seven miles per hour with the lights and beeping alert of the snowplow vehicle activated. Oviedo-Mejia testified that he kept looking in the mirrors as the snowplow vehicle was moving in reverse, but he did not see the plaintiff prior to the alleged impact. Under the circumstances, the defendants demonstrated, prima facie, that Oviedo-Mejia did not act with reckless disregard for the safety of others … . Kaffash v Village of Great Neck Estates, 2021 NY Slip Op 00159, Second Dept 1-13-21