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ON PROXIMATE CAUSE Pothole allegedly causes plaintiff motorcyclist to lose control - Case predates pothole law - Hemiparesis - Liability only.

Bronx County

The plaintiff motorcyclist in his mid-30’s contended that he struck a pothole and lost control. The plaintiff’s expert engineer contended that the ridges around the perimeter of the pothole reflected that the pothole had been present for at least a year. The case predated the pothole law and the plaintiff argued that the defendant should have previously observed and corrected the defect. The plaintiff had no recollection of the unwitnessed accident.

The plaintiff’s accident reconstruction expert contended that the plaintiff was traveling at about 27 mph and that contact with the pothole caused the accident. The defendant denied that the pothole caused the incident. The defendant’s motorcycle expert contended that the pothole was relatively small, that gouge marks on the road commenced before the pothole and traveled to the right, reflecting that the plaintiff had lost control some distance before the pothole and had never made contact with the pothole. The defendant’s expert also contended that the plaintiff was speeding.

The accident occurred in ________ and the case was tried under principles of contributory negligence. The jury found that the defendant was negligent, but that there was an absence of proximate cause.

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