Double-Parked, Rear-Ended Pepsi Defendant Wins Dismissal of Car Accident Personal Injury Lawsuit

Pepsi and double parking? That sounds familiar. Interestingly, a recent personal injury case, Barry v. Pepsi-Cola Bottling Co., involves both. This case stands for the proposition that illegal double-parking – while perhaps illustrating societal stupidity or even signifying the onset of a dictatorship – is not necessarily the proximate cause of an accident in which the double parker is rear-ended.

The court explained:

In this rear-end collision case, even assuming that the Pepsi vehicle, hit from behind, was illegally double-parked, that fact, standing alone does not automatically establish that such double-parking was the proximate cause of the accident. Here, the record shows that the double-parked vehicle, given the road conditions at the time of the accident, namely, the favorable weather, the time of day, and the relatively minimal amount of traffic on the road at the time, merely furnished the condition or occasion for the occurrence of the event but was not one of its causes. Plaintiff’s proffered excuse for the accident, that sunlight temporary blinded the driver of the rear vehicle, does not constitute a nonnegligent explanation for the rear-end collision.

Therefore, the court unanimously reversed the Supreme Court’s denial of defendant Pepsi’s motion for summary judgment and granted Pepsi’s motion.

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