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Court re-states basic obligations of operating motor vehicle with due care

In McCuish v. Hallie Nicole Jaffe, the Court of Appeals took pains to re-state the obligations of a motorist charged with negligence after striking a pedestrian.  The Court noted that bystanders and physical evidence both supported the interpretation that the pedestrian had mistakenly stepped into the side of Jaffe's vehicle.  Other than a single witness' suggestion that Jaffe was driving "45 to 50" miles per hour in a 45-mph limit zone, there was no evidence to suggest a deviation from the standard of care by the motorist. 

While Jaffe could have been negligent if she had failed to observe the approach of a pedestrian who is "able to be seen coming in to...her path [if] the driver fails to stop when he or she is capable of doing so," there was nothing in McCuish's behavior that served as a warning to Jaffe.  He was one of a group of high school students standing at the curb, waiting for traffic to clear, when he apparently stepped out without warning.  Under the circumstances, there was no foundation for McCuish to pursue a claim against Jaffe, and no basis for a jury decision of negligence.

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