Kristin L. Norfleet, Esq., successfully defended a good samaritan in a bifurcated trial stemming from a one-car accident on a rural road in Oswego County. The defendant maintained that as he crested a hill headed eastbound on Gilbert Mills Road, plaintiff was travelling westbound and left of the center of the roadway into defendant’s lane of travel. Defendant moved right toward the should to avoid colliding with plaintiff and in his rear-view mirror observed plaintiff lose control of his vehicle. Defendant turned around, observed plaintiff had crashed into a tree and called 911. Defendant waited until the responding State Trooper arrived and provided a statement. Based upon his identification as a witness on the police report, plaintiff claimed defendant was the one who was left of center thereby causing plaintiff to swerve right and lose control. Plaintiff relied on the testimony of a friend who happened to be snowboarding near the crash scene in support of his claim defendant was the negligent driver. The defense presented evidence that the friend was not in a position to have viewed the vehicles respective positions on the road and therefore was in no position to determine whether the defendant was left of center. The responding State Trooper George C. Baker testified before the jury that he observed tire tracks left of the center of the westbound lane which led across the lane and ended at the tree where plaintiff’s vehicle came to rest.
Based upon the evidence presented at trial, the jury quickly returned a verdict of no cause of action in favor of the defendant.