was not his fault. You see, what happened was that a van suddenly entered the roadway from his right-hand side, cutting in front of his bus's path and causing him to veer suddenly to his left, where he encountered the auto driven by Plaintiff Green. The van, being un- damaged, drove away into the sunset, never to be seen again. The bus driver apparently never got the license plate number of the van. Of course, neither did the sleeping passenger nor the amnesiac car driver.
Practitioners of this delicate art that we call personal injury law recognized that van immediately. It was the MTA's "Phantom Van", a ubiquitous vehicle that had appeared before in summary judgment motions. Usually, however, the van appeared after depositions, but now, it appeared before them. This enigma the Court of Appeals found somewhat uncom- fortable.
In a decision based on submissions alone, the Court made the "Phantom Van" go away, at least prior to depositions. "Whether the emergency doctrine precludes liability presents a question of fact and, therefore, summary judgment (for defendants) ... was inappropriate." The MTA had over-tightened the screw and stripped the nut outright. It would no longer hold, at least when used in advance of EBTs.
We'd be interested to know if the Phantom Van returns in one of your cases. Please keep us in mind. As for now, it's back in the garage. At least, that is, until the key, an EBT notice, unlocks the garage doors once again.
Strange? Not in the PI Zone. [Up closing theme music; roll credits]