Police reports and liablity

Roman v Cabrera, 2014 NY Slip Op 00445 [1st Dept. 2014]

Nonetheless, plaintiffs opposed the motion solely on the basis of a notation in Trooper Rosado's report to the effect that "Cabrera swerved to avoid Mr. Lawrence's vehicle and in so doing lost control of her vehicle, striking Mr. Román . . . ." This police accident report is insufficient to raise an issue of fact since it recites hearsay and was prepared by an officer who had not observed the accident (see Singh v Stair, 106 AD3d 632 [1st Dept 2013]). Moreover, plaintiffs have not demonstrated an excuse for their failure to offer proof on the issue in admissible form (see Friends of Animals v Associated Fur Mfrs., 46 NY2d 1065, 1068 [1979]).

Even if it were admissible, the police report would still be insufficient to raise a triable issue of fact. Liability may not be imposed on a party who merely furnishes the condition or occasion for the occurrence of the event, but was not one of its causes (see Sheehan v New York, 40 NY2d 496, 503 [1976]). The report would not have raised an inference that Lawrence's conduct caused the emergency condition created when his vehicle hit the median divider as he tried to avoid colliding with third unidentified car, which allegedly swerved into his lane (see Paulino v Guzman, 85 AD3d 631, 632 [1st Dept 2011]).

Emphasis mine.

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