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Balsam v. Delma Eng’g Corp – Case Brief Summary (New York)

In Balsam v. Delma Eng'g Corp. (90 NY2d 966, 688 NE2d 487, 665 NYS2d 613 [1997]), the City of New York was not held liable for the police response to a street's ice hazard where the plaintiff, who suffered a motor vehicle accident, was then injured in a secondary motor vehicle accident caused by the same icy roadway; on appeal the plaintiff argued that the police breached their proprietary duty to keep the street safe by closing the roadway, redirecting traffic, or placing warning cones near the icy condition, but the Court held that traffic regulation is a "classic example" of a governmental function undertaken for the protection and safety of the public pursuant to the general police powers, and the City was thus immune from liability for its officers' actions.