Lankenau v. Patrick K. Boles, M&S Leasing Co.

CourtNew York Supreme Court Appellate Division
Citation2014 N.Y. Slip Op. 05255,990 N.Y.S.2d 394,119 A.D.3d 1404
Decision Date11 July 2014
PartiesLaura LANKENAU, Plaintiff–Appellant, v. Patrick K. BOLES, M & S Leasing Co., LLC, Deena Lankenau and Douglas Lankenau, Defendants–Respondents. (Appeal No. 1.).

119 A.D.3d 1404
990 N.Y.S.2d 394
2014 N.Y. Slip Op. 05255

Laura LANKENAU, Plaintiff–Appellant,
Patrick K. BOLES, M & S Leasing Co., LLC, Deena Lankenau and Douglas Lankenau, Defendants–Respondents.
(Appeal No. 1.).

Supreme Court, Appellate Division, Fourth Department, New York.

July 11, 2014.

[990 N.Y.S.2d 395]

Smith, Sovik, Kendrick & Sugnet, P.C., Syracuse (Edward J. Smith, III, of Counsel), for Plaintiff–Appellant.

Rupp, Baase, Pfalzgraf, Cunningham & Coppola LLC, Buffalo (Melissa L. Vincton of Counsel), for Defendants–Respondents Patrick K. Boles And M & S Leasing Co., LLC.

Burke, Scolamiero, Mortati & Hurd, LLP, Albany (Mark G. Mitchell of Counsel), for Defendants–Respondents Deena Lankenau and Douglas Lankenau.



Plaintiff, a New York resident, commenced this negligence action in New York seeking damages for injuries she sustained in a motor vehicle accident that occurred in Pennsylvania. At the time of the accident, plaintiff was a backseat passenger in a vehicle operated by her mother, defendant Deena Lankenau, and owned by her father, defendant Douglas Lankenau, both of whom are also domiciled in New York. The accident occurred when the Lankenau vehicle collided with a tractor-trailer operated by defendant Patrick K. Boles, an employee of defendant M & S Leasing Co., LLC. Both of those defendants are domiciled in New Jersey. In their answers, defendants asserted as an affirmative defense that plaintiff failed to mitigate her damages because she was not wearing an available seat belt. Plaintiff moved to dismiss the affirmative defense, and we conclude that Supreme Court properly denied the motion.

Plaintiff contends that the court erred in denying her motion because New York's seat belt affirmative defense regulates conduct, and thus does not apply in a tort dispute arising from an accident that occurred in Pennsylvania. We reject that contention. “Conduct-regulating rules have the prophylactic effect of governing conduct to prevent injuries from occurring” (Padula v. Lilarn Props. Corp., 84 N.Y.2d 519, 522, 620 N.Y.S.2d 310, 644 N.E.2d 1001; see generally Schultz v. Boy Scouts of Am., 65 N.Y.2d 189, 198, 491 N.Y.S.2d 90, 480 N.E.2d 679). “ ‘If conflicting conduct-regulating laws are at issue, the law of the jurisdiction where the tort occurred will generally apply because that jurisdiction has the greatest interest in regulating behavior within its borders' ” (Padula...

To continue reading

Request your trial
1 cases

VLEX uses login cookies to provide you with a better browsing experience. If you click on 'Accept' or continue browsing this site we consider that you accept our cookie policy. ACCEPT