New York State Court of Claims

New York State Court of Claims

GRIFFEN v. THE STATE OF NEW YORK, #2000-016-028, Claim No. 97707, Motion No. M-61634


Synopsis


Claim was dismissed on the grounds that the notice of intention was inadequate under §11 of the Court of Claims Act.

Case Information

UID:
2000-016-028
Claimant(s):
GARY GRIFFEN
Claimant short name:
GRIFFEN
Footnote (claimant name) :

Defendant(s):
THE STATE OF NEW YORK
Footnote (defendant name) :

Third-party claimant(s):

Third-party defendant(s):

Claim number(s):
97707
Motion number(s):
M-61634
Cross-motion number(s):

Judge:
Alan C. Marin
Claimant's attorney:
Gary Griffen
Defendant's attorney:
Eliot Spitzer, Attorney GeneralBy: Earl F. Gialanella, AAG
Third-party defendant's attorney:

Signature date:
May 19, 2000
City:
New York
Comments:

Official citation:

Appellate results:

See also (multicaptioned case)



Decision

In his underlying claim, Gary Griffen alleges that owing to defendant's negligence, he slipped and fell on a staircase at Woodbourne Correctional Facility. This is defendant's motion to dismiss on the grounds that the notice of intention served on it was inadequate under §11 of the Court of Claims Act (the "Act"). The incident in this case occurred on February 15, 1996. Claimant served a notice of intention on defendant on March 13, 1996, and thereafter served his claim on defendant on January 23, 1998. See ¶3 of the May 1, 2000 affirmation of Earl F. Gialanella and Exhibits A and B thereto.

Section 11 of the Act provides that "[t]he claim shall state the time when and place where such claim arose, the nature of same, and the items of damage or injuries claimed to have been sustained and the total sum claimed. . . the notice of intention to file a claim shall set forth the same matters except that the items of damage or injuries and the sum claimed need not be stated."

The only descriptive material in Griffen's notice of intention is the statement that "[o]n February 15, 1996, claimant slipped and fell on a staircase at Woodbourne Correctional Facility."

Claimant's notice of intention does not identify which particular staircase or even which building the incident occurred in. Nor does it provide any information as to how Griffen slipped and fell. For instance, were the stairs defectively designed? Were they without a handrail? Were they cracked or covered with debris? In short, the notice of intention contains inadequate description so as to provide defendant with the facts necessary to conduct a meaningful investigation. Thus, this Court lacks jurisdiction over the claim. See, e.g., Cannon v State of New York, 163 Misc 2d 623, 622 NYS2d 177 (Ct Cl 1994).

Accordingly, having reviewed the parties' submissions,[1] IT IS ORDERED that motion no. M-61634 is granted and the claim of Gary Griffen is dismissed.



May 19, 2000
New York, New York

HON. ALAN C. MARIN
Judge of the Court of Claims




  1. [1]Along with the pleadings, the Court reviewed defendant's notice of motion with accompanying affirmation and Exhibits A-C; and claimant's "Reply Traverse."