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Neumeier v. Kuehner

New York Court of Appeals
31 N.Y.2d 121, 335 N.Y.S.2d 64, 286 N.E.2d 454 (1972)


Facts

Arthur Kuehner and Amie Neumeier were killed when their vehicle was struck by a train. Kuehner, the driver, was a resident of New York. Neumeier, the passenger, was a resident of Ontario, Canada. On the day of the accident, Kuehner traveled from New York into Ontario to pick Neumeier up. Kuehner and Neumeier intended to travel to another location in Ontario, then return to Neumeier’s home. The accident occurred in Ontario during that trip. Neumeier’s wife and administratrix (plaintiff) commenced a wrongful-death action against Kuehner’s estate (defendant) in New York state court. Kuehner’s estate contended that Neumeier’s claim was barred by Ontario’s guest statute, which permitted guest passengers to recover from host drivers only if the host was grossly negligent. The trial court denied Neumeier’s motion to dismiss Kuehner’s affirmative defense, holding that the Ontario guest statute controlled. The appellate division reversed. The issue was certified to the court of appeals.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Fuld, C.J.)

Concurrence (Breitel, J.)

Dissent (Bergan, J.)

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