Stiver v. Good & Fair Carting & Moving, Inc., No. 137.

CourtNew York Court of Appeals
Writing for the CourtRead
Decision Date19 November 2007
PartiesGregory G. STIVER et al., Appellants, v. GOOD & FAIR CARTING & MOVING, INC., Respondent.
Docket NumberNo. 137.
878 N.E.2d 1001
9 N.Y.3d 253
848 N.Y.S.2d 585
Gregory G. STIVER et al., Appellants,
v.
GOOD & FAIR CARTING & MOVING, INC., Respondent.
No. 137.
Court of Appeals of New York.
November 19, 2007.

Edward C. Cosgrove, Buffalo, for appellants.

Thorn Gershon Tymann and Bonanni, LLP, Albany (Erin Mead of counsel), for respondent.

Fiedelman & McGaw, Jericho (Andrew Zajac and Dawn C. DeSimone of counsel), Martin F. Hayes, Rona L. Platt and Brendan T. Fitzpatrick for Defense Association of New York, Inc., amicus curiae.

[848 N.Y.S.2d 255]

OPINION OF THE COURT

READ, J.


In the dusk of the evening of August 8, 2001, plaintiff Gregory G. Stiver was driving

878 N.E.2d 1002

his automobile in the eastbound center lane of a divided highway in Tonawanda. The weather was fine; traffic was moderately heavy. Without warning, the vehicle immediately ahead of him shifted abruptly into the righthand lane. When plaintiff "looked to see what [this driver] was swerving to miss and started to apply the brakes," he saw a car stopped in the center lane, dead ahead of him. Unable to slow down or pull over into another lane in time to avoid a collision, plaintiff rear-ended the disabled car, which was owned and driven by Stephen Corbett. Plaintiff was wearing a seat belt and his automobile's airbag deployed upon impact. Nonetheless, his head struck the steering wheel with sufficient force to impair his right eye permanently.

On June 27, 2002, plaintiff, with his wife suing derivatively, commenced a lawsuit against Corbett for damages caused by the automobile accident, alleging that he had suffered a serious injury within the meaning of the No-Fault Law (see Insurance Law § 5102[d] ). During the course of discovery, Corbett testified at an examination before trial that, just before his car slid to a standstill, he heard a rumbling noise and experienced difficulty steering; he observed pieces of the vehicle's transmission rolling down the road. When he inspected his car just after the accident, he saw that the front right wheel was "sideways with the inside of it facing forward," and a half shaft, the driveshaft linking this wheel to the transmission, was disconnected and dangling from the vehicle's undercarriage.

848 N.Y.S.2d 256

Plaintiffs subsequently learned that on June 13, 2001, about two months before the accident, a mechanic employed by defendant Good & Fair Carting & Moving, Inc., had performed the required annual New York State motor vehicle inspection of Corbett's car, and had issued the certificate denoting that the car was in proper and safe working condition. On June 10, 2004, plaintiffs commenced this action against Good & Fair, alleging that the collision was caused by its negligent inspection of the Corbett vehicle.

On August 2, 2005, Good & Fair moved for summary judgment to dismiss the complaint on the ground that it owed no contractual or common-law duty to plaintiffs or, alternatively, breached no such duty. Plaintiffs opposed the motion. While acknowledging that Good & Fair would ordinarily owe no duty to third parties lacking contractual privity with Corbett, they claimed that this case was an exception to the general rule because Good & Fair launched an instrument of harm, and they detrimentally and reasonably relied on Good & Fair's inspection.

On November 10, 2005, Supreme Court denied Good & Fair's motion, citing the Appellate Division's decision in Wood v. Neff, 250 A.D.2d 225, 683 N.Y.S.2d 612 (3d Dept.1998) as controlling authority for the proposition that ...

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74 practice notes
  • Landon v. Kroll Lab. Specialists, Inc.
    • United States
    • New York Supreme Court Appellate Division
    • November 22, 2011
    ...111, 752 N.Y.S.2d 254, 782 N.E.2d 50; Stiver v. Good & Fair Carting & Moving, Inc., 32 A.D.3d 1209, 1210, 822 N.Y.S.2d 178, affd. 9 N.Y.3d 253, 848 N.Y.S.2d 585, 878 N.E.2d 1001; see also Prosser and Keeton, Torts § 92, at 655–656 [5th ed.] ). Thus “where a party is merely seeking t......
  • Santos v. DEANCO Servs., Inc.
    • United States
    • New York Supreme Court Appellate Division
    • July 13, 2016
    ...1093, and Moch Co. v. Rensselaer Water Co., 247 N.Y. 160, 159 N.E. 896 ; see also Stiver v. Good & Fair Carting & Moving, Inc., 9 N.Y.3d 253, 257, 848 N.Y.S.2d 585, 878 N.E.2d 1001 ; Javid v. Sclafmore Constr., 117 A.D.3d 907, 985 N.Y.S.2d 893 ; Rudloff v. Woodland Pond Condominium ......
  • Bahr v. Airway Cleaners, Inc., 2008 NY Slip Op 32491(U) (N.Y. Sup. Ct. 9/8/2008), Index No: 11589/06.
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court (New York)
    • September 8, 2008
    ...for tort liability to an injured third party, the Court of Appeals explained in Stiver v Good & Fair Carting & Moving, Inc., 9 N.Y.3d 253, 257 (2007), A contractual obligation, standing alone, will generally not give rise to tort liability in favor of a third party" (Espinal v ......
  • Davis v. S. Nassau Cmtys. Hosp.
    • United States
    • United States Court of Appeals (New York)
    • December 16, 2015
    ...(id. at 908, 941 N.Y.S.2d 28, 964 N.E.2d 399 ). Careful, too, was our approach in Stiver v. Good & Fair Carting & Moving, Inc., 9 N.Y.3d 253, 848 N.Y.S.2d 585, 878 N.E.2d 1001 (2007), in which we concluded that the inspector of a motor vehicle involved in an accident attributable to......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
74 cases
  • Landon v. Kroll Lab. Specialists, Inc.
    • United States
    • New York Supreme Court Appellate Division
    • November 22, 2011
    ...111, 752 N.Y.S.2d 254, 782 N.E.2d 50; Stiver v. Good & Fair Carting & Moving, Inc., 32 A.D.3d 1209, 1210, 822 N.Y.S.2d 178, affd. 9 N.Y.3d 253, 848 N.Y.S.2d 585, 878 N.E.2d 1001; see also Prosser and Keeton, Torts § 92, at 655–656 [5th ed.] ). Thus “where a party is merely seeking t......
  • Santos v. DEANCO Servs., Inc.
    • United States
    • New York Supreme Court Appellate Division
    • July 13, 2016
    ...1093, and Moch Co. v. Rensselaer Water Co., 247 N.Y. 160, 159 N.E. 896 ; see also Stiver v. Good & Fair Carting & Moving, Inc., 9 N.Y.3d 253, 257, 848 N.Y.S.2d 585, 878 N.E.2d 1001 ; Javid v. Sclafmore Constr., 117 A.D.3d 907, 985 N.Y.S.2d 893 ; Rudloff v. Woodland Pond Condominium ......
  • Bahr v. Airway Cleaners, Inc., 2008 NY Slip Op 32491(U) (N.Y. Sup. Ct. 9/8/2008), Index No: 11589/06.
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court (New York)
    • September 8, 2008
    ...for tort liability to an injured third party, the Court of Appeals explained in Stiver v Good & Fair Carting & Moving, Inc., 9 N.Y.3d 253, 257 (2007), A contractual obligation, standing alone, will generally not give rise to tort liability in favor of a third party" (Espinal v ......
  • Davis v. S. Nassau Cmtys. Hosp.
    • United States
    • United States Court of Appeals (New York)
    • December 16, 2015
    ...(id. at 908, 941 N.Y.S.2d 28, 964 N.E.2d 399 ). Careful, too, was our approach in Stiver v. Good & Fair Carting & Moving, Inc., 9 N.Y.3d 253, 848 N.Y.S.2d 585, 878 N.E.2d 1001 (2007), in which we concluded that the inspector of a motor vehicle involved in an accident attributable to......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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