Fri, Jun 8, 2018

Eastman and Bowgren Win Summary Judgment for Ambulance Operator

In a case filed in the City of St. Louis, Plaintiff argued she had been injured in an automobile accident caused by Defendant, an ambulance operator, when its vehicle activated its emergency lights and sirens near an intersection, thereby “forcing” another driver into the intersection and into the path of Plaintiff’s oncoming vehicle. After extensive briefing and argument, Andrew Eastman and Michael Bowgren won summary judgment for Defendant. Judgment was entered on the grounds that Plaintiff’s failure to abide by traffic regulations which required she pull to the side of the road and stop upon the approach of an ambulance with its lights and sirens activated constituted negligence per se, and therefore was not foreseeable and could not give rise to any duty owed to her by Defendant. The trial court also found that Plaintiff’s negligence per se constituted an intervening act that cut any alleged chain of causation between Defendant’s actions and the accident. The judgment of the trial court was affirmed on appeal.