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gavel-Article-201710131541-Article-201711162405In Rodriguez v. City of New York, 2018 WL 1595658 (N.Y. 2018), the Court of Appeals addressed an issue that had long divided the Appellate Departments: Does a personal injury plaintiff need to show freedom from comparative fault in order to obtain summary judgment on the issue of the defendant’s liability? The court held that a “plaintiff does not bear that burden.” Id. at *1. In doing so, it displaced what had previously been the majority approach to that question among the lower courts. This column discusses the state of the law before Rodriguez, the rationale for the decision, and how the rule it announced will function in practice.

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