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MOTOR VEHICLE LAW: Trial court finds that a sudden mechanical failure was not analogous to a sudden medical emergency

The defendant, a state employee, was driving a state vehicle during course of her employment. She swerved into oncoming traffic and collided with plaintiff’s vehicle. The plaintiff suffered a hip fracture, among various additional injuries. Plaintiff brought suit against the defendant for injuries under Conn. Gen. Stat. §52-556. The trial court holds for plaintiff, and finds the defendant’s vehicle crossed center line and struck plaintiff vehicle. The defendant was not relieved of liability because of a potential tire blowout before the accident.

While there is an exception for sudden medical emergencies leading to an unavoidable accident, the court did not extend the sudden medical emergency rule to sudden mechanical failures that the defendant alleged. “This court will not by analogy extend the doctrine to a mechanical issue with the vehicle.”

Fain v. Benak, Superior Court, judicial district of New London, Docket No. CV-18-6036826 (January 15, 2020)