Are Pedestrian's Required to Have Eyes in Back of Their Head?
In April 2016 an Appellate Court covering Manhattan just held that a pedestrian in the middle of a cross walk - crossing the street with the light in his favor - could not be held even 1% responsible in a lawsuit against a bus company that ran over him. The defendant's airport shuttle bus while turning left onto Third Avenue from 41st Street, ran over the pedestrian's left foot which resulted in the partial amputation of two toes. See, Quintavalle v Perez, Appellate Division, First Department, New York. The shuttle bus company had argued that a long standing general rule of law imposed a duty of care on pedestrians, even when crossing with the right of way and while in the cross walk.
The Court noted that: "The only level of attention that could have succeeded in his avoiding being hit by defendant's bus would have required his continually turning around and checking behind him as he walked... Indeed, the imposition of such an obligation on pedestrians in such circumstances would be unreasonable and unsafe...." The Court rejected the bus company's argument that a jury might reasonably find that the pedestrian should share in some percentage of fault for the accident.
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