Tyson Mott successfully prevailed on a motion for summary judgment, dismissing all claims against his clients in a Passaic County auto negligence action. The lawsuit stemmed from a September 16, 2018, three-car motor vehicle accident at the intersection of Crooks Avenue and Paxton Street in Paterson, New Jersey. Plaintiff was driving along Crooks Avenue when a three-car collision occurred, with Tyson’s clients being the middle car. Tyson argued that any negligence in this action stemmed from the third vehicle owned by the co-defendant. Plaintiff allegedly sustained injuries to her neck, back and right shoulder as a result of the accident.
Plaintiff brought personal injury claims against both of Tyson’s clients: the driver and the owner of the vehicle involved in the accident. Through depositions conducted by Tyson, Plaintiff admitted that Tyson’s clients were pushed into Plaintiff by a third vehicle that drove away from the accident scene. The Honorable Frank Covello granted the pending motion for summary judgment in favor of Tyson’s clients, dismissing all claims of negligence against the driver, and negligent entrustment and vicarious liability claims against the owner of the vehicle. Judge Covello agreed with Tyson that Plaintiff failed to present any evidence that Tyson’s clients negligently caused the accident, but rather, the third-party phantom vehicle pushed Tyson’s clients into the Plaintiff. Furthermore, Judge Covello found no agency relationship existed between the defendants, nor that the vehicle owner was negligent in entrusting her vehicle to the driver.