Justice Thomas Feinman


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Welsbach Electric moved for summary judgment dismissing Montell’s personal injury action resulting from a motor vehicle accident. Montell alleged he was involved in the accident as a result of a defective, or improperly working traffic light or signal. Welsbach and County of Nassau entered into an agreement regarding maintenance of illuminated traffic control devices in Nassau requiring Welsbach to respond to an intersection within two hours after receiving notice from the county a device may need repair. The court noted it was demonstrated that Welsbach did not perform any repairs to the subject traffic signal in eight months before the subject accident. It found Welsbach made a prima facie showing of entitlement to summary judgment as it showed there were no complaints regarding the signal received by it before the accident and work was not requested for the year before the accident. Also, the court stated it could not be stated Welsbach “launched a force or instrument of harm,” demonstrating further it was not required to inspect devices in need of repair, and was required to respond to notice of malfunctioning lights within two hours of receiving such notice from the county. Thus, as Montell failed to raise factual issues, dismissal was warranted.