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Sindle v. New York Transit Authority

Court of Appeals of New York
352 N.Y.S.2d 183 (1973)


Sindle (plaintiff) was a passenger on a school bus on the last day of school. The bus was owned by the New York City Transit Authority (defendant) (Transit Authority) and driven by an employee of the Transit Authority, Mooney (defendant). There were 65 to 70 students on the bus. The students were loud, noisy, and breaking lights, windows and ceiling panels on the bus. Sindle did not participate in the destruction of the bus. Mooney made several stops and admonished the students about their behavior. After one particular stop, Mooney went to the back of the bus and inspected the damage and told the students he was taking them to the police station. Mooney drove to the police station bypassing other stops along the way. Sindle sued the Transit Authority and Mooney for false imprisonment. At trial upon the close of Sindle’s evidence, the Transit Authority and Mooney made a motion to amend their answer to plead the defense of justification. The trial court denied the motion and excluded all evidence related to the defense of justification. The Transit Authority and Mooney appealed the trial court’s denial of their motion to amend their answer to the Court of Appeals of New York.

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Holding and Reasoning (Jasen, J.)

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  • A "yes" or "no" answer to the question framed in the issue section;
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