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Case Study

Summary Judgment Win for Municipality in Highway Design and Maintenance Case

August 2013

Brian W. McElhenny, a partner in Goldberg Segalla’s Municipal and Governmental Liability Practice Group, successfully defended the Town of Huntington, New York, in a highway design and maintenance case. In Schacker v. Town of Huntington, the 18-year-old plaintiff was driving his car on a state road in Huntington when it slid on black ice and collided with another vehicle. He sustained a traumatic brain injury and was hospitalized for months. The plaintiff sued the town and the state of New York for failing to maintain proper drainage, which he asserted caused ice to form at the intersection; there was a history of complaints of water problems at the intersection. Brian argued that the town was not liable, as the intersection was under the control of the state and there was insufficient evidence that the town breached its duty to maintain the roadway. The town’s motion for summary judgment was granted by Supreme Court in Suffolk County.