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Summary Judgement Denied – “Wave-on” Liability Upheld

September 9, 2020
Stephen Bruderle
Posted in: Automobile & Trucking

While the plaintiff driver was waiting to make a left turn exit out of a shopping center parking lot onto a main thoroughfare, a helpful defendant about to enter the lot from the roadway, yielded to the plaintiff and waved to her indicating she should proceed to exit onto the street. As the plaintiff entered the roadway her vehicle was struck by another car which had driven around the waving defendant’s car. The plaintiff alleged she relied upon the waving defendant and that the waving defendant was negligent in gesturing she proceed when it was not safe to do so.

In denying the waving defendant’s Motion for Summary Judgment, the Court noted the plaintiff testified she did not look to her left as she entered the roadway as she concluded the waving defendant had indicated it was safe to make the turn. The Court observed this theory of liability is supported by Section 324A of the Restatement Second of Torts (1965) and the case of Askew by Askew v. Zeller. The Restatement and the Askew case hold that a person is negligent for failing to exercise reasonable care, even if the duty was undertaken gratuitously. The decision was rendered on June 24, 2020.

If you have any questions regarding this decision please contact the author, Steve Bruderle, at 215-931-5852 or sbruderle@margolisedelstein.com