In Guadagno v. Glen Oaks Club (Index No. 704798/15), Queens County Supreme Court Justice Livote denied defendant's motion for summary judgment against a plaintiff injured by a golf cart. Particularly, at the time of the incident, the plaintiff was a passenger in a golf cart operated by an employee of defendant, and it is undisputed that the driver was operating the vehicle at a high speed, thereby causing the vehicle to flip over and cause plaintiff injuries. At some time after plaintiff commenced a lawsuit, the defendants moved for summary judgment (seeking to dismiss the case), arguing, among other things, that the golf cart was not a "motor vehicle" within the meaning of the New York Vehicle and Traffic Law.
The trial court denied defendant's motion, holding, among other things, the following: "Vehicle and Traffic Law Section 125 defines a motor vehicle, in pertinent part, as '[e]very vehicle operated or driven upon a public highway which is propelled by any power other than muscular power'...the sole fact that [the driver] was operating defendant's golf cart on the Glen Oaks Club premises indicates the golf cart may have been operated in a public way or place. Given this undisputed fact, the absence of evidence that the golf cart was not on a 'public highway,' and the golf cart's undisputed qualification as a motor vehicle in all other respects, defendant has not met its burden to establish that the golf cart was not a motor vehicle under VTL Sections 125 and 388."
Salvatore R. Marino, Esq.