Brittany Lahm, 24, of Manhattan, whose top was untied by Brandon Berman, 19, a passenger, faced an emergency when she took her hands off the wheel while on the Thruway in July 2008, the Brooklyn appeals court has ruled. The resulting crash killed Berman and hurt several others in the car, which was heading back from the Jersey Shore.
Lahm’s car was full of teenagers heading home from a day at the beach when Brandon Berman, 19, playfully untied her bathing suit top.
She took her hands off the wheel to cover up, causing the car to veer off course, hit a guardrail and flip. Berman died, and several others were injured in the Rockland County accident.
Even though Berman had acted disruptive throughout the fateful ride from the Jersey Shore, the Appellate Division concluded “that Brittany did not anticipate that he would suddenly pull the strings on her bikini top, thereby causing the top to fall and her breasts to be exposed.”
Therefore, the appellate judges held in a 3-1 decision that it was reasonable for the Rockland County jury that initially heard the case to conclude that Lahm’s bikini top problem constituted “a sudden and unforeseen emergency not of her own making.”