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Tooker v. Lopez

Court of Appeals of New York
24 N.Y.2d 569, 301 N.Y.S.2d 519, 249 N.E.2d 394 (1969)


Catharina Tooker, Marcia Lopez, and Susan Silk, all students at Michigan State University, were in an automobile accident in Michigan. Tooker and Lopez died; Silk was injured. Lopez, a domiciliary of New York, was driving. Her car was registered and insured in New York. Tooker was also a New York domiciliary, whereas Silk was domiciled in Michigan. Tooker’s father, Oliver P. Tooker, Jr., acting as administrator of Tooker’s estate (plaintiff), sued Lopez’s estate (defendant) for wrongful death in a New York court. Lopez’s representative raised as an affirmative defense Michigan’s guest statute, which required proof of willful misconduct or gross negligence to establish liability. The Special Term of the Supreme Court rejected the defense, concluding that New York law, not Michigan law, should apply. The Appellate Division reversed, citing Dym v. Gordon, 209 N.E.2d 792 (1965). Mr. Tooker appealed.

Rule of Law


Holding and Reasoning (Keating, J.)

Concurrence (Fuld, J.)

Dissent (Breitel, J.)

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