Monday, January 29, 2024

Court Addresses Issues Arising From Accident Between Rider Mower and Passing Motorist

In the case of Barrick v. Koontz, No. 2019-SU-001700 (C.P. York Co. Jan 8, 2024 Vedder, J.), the court granted summary judgment in favor of the Defendants in a case involving a collision between a Plaintiff on a rider lawnmower and a truck that was passing on the roadway.

According to the Opinion, the Plaintiff-husband, who was on the lawnmower, did not have any memory of the accident and the Plaintiff-wife was not present to witness the accident. The only individuals with any memories of the crash were the Defendant driver and a motorist who was traveling in another vehicle behind the Defendant’s vehicle.

The record also confirmed that the Plaintiff admitted in the case that, as the Defendant driver was driving his truck past the Plaintiff’s property, the Plaintiff’s lawnmower came off a bank and from behind a bush on the property and entered the roadway.

In his Opinion, Judge Vedder addressed multiple issues on the liability question as presented by both sides of the case, including issues regarding the law of negligence, duties owed when entering roadways, expert issues, the last clear chance doctrine, the assured clear distance ahead rule and the mere happening of an accident rule. In the end, the court found that the Plaintiff failed to produce evidence to establish a prima facie case of negligence against the Defendants, specifically with respect to the alleged breach of any duty.

As noted, the court entered summary judgement in favor of the Defendant motorist.    

Anyone wishing to review a copy of this decision may click this LINK.

I send thanks to Attorney Stephen M. Hickey of the York, PA law firm of Griffith, Lerman, Lutz & Scheib for bringing this case to my attention.

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