New York State Court of Claims

New York State Court of Claims

WILEY v. THE STATE OF NEW YORK, #2001-014-525, Claim No. 103178, Motion No. M-62849


Defendant's motion to dismiss, on the ground that the claim fails to describe the manner in which the underlying incident occurred, as required by Court of Claims Act §11(b), is granted.

Case Information

Claimant short name:
Footnote (claimant name) :

Footnote (defendant name) :

Third-party claimant(s):

Third-party defendant(s):

Claim number(s):
Motion number(s):
Cross-motion number(s):

S. Michael Nadel
Claimant's attorney:
Getz & Braverman, P.C.By: Howard I. Getz
Defendant's attorney:
Eliot Spitzer, Attorney GeneralBy: Susan J. Pogoda, Assistant Attorney General
Third-party defendant's attorney:

Signature date:
April 2, 2001
New York

Official citation:

Appellate results:

See also (multicaptioned case)


The following papers were read on the defendant's motion to dismiss the claim: Notice of Motion, Affirmation in Support and Exhibits annexed; Affirmation in Opposition.

The defendant moves, on its Fourth Affirmative Defense, to dismiss the claim on the ground that it does not adequately describe the location of the underlying incident, nor does it include an "adequate description of the manner in which the incident occurred," as required by Court of Claims Act §11(b). Answer, ¶6. The failure to comply with these requirements warrants dismissal of the claim. Schneider v State of New York, 234 AD2d 357.

The claim alleges that an incident was caused by the negligence of the defendant in the ownership and maintenance of the Brooklyn Queens Expressway at its Flushing Avenue Exit Ramp "approximately 30' east of Location Code No. BQ4100" (Claim, ¶3) on July 8, 2000. As such, the claim adequately states the place where the incident took place.

The requirements of §11(b)including that "the claim shall state . . . the nature of same", have consistently been applied in the context of their purpose, which is to enable the State to investigate the claim promptly and to ascertain its own liability. Sega v State of New York, 246 AD2d 753, 755. "All elements of the claim need not be set out with formalistic rigidity, but it must convey notice to the [defendant] to enable it to properly investigate, defend, and/or settle the claim [citation omitted] . . . ." Harper v State of New York, 34 AD2d 865; see also, Sheils v State of New York, 249 AD2d 459; Riefler v State of New York, 228 AD2d 1000, 1001.

By the foregoing standard the claim herein does not satisfy the requirements of Court of Claims Act §11(b). The manner in which claimant was injured and how the defendant's negligence was the proximate cause thereof, has not been stated, nor can it be "reasonably inferred" from the contents of the claim. Heisler v State of New York, 78 AD2d 767, 768. There is no statement in the claim (nor in the claimant's submission on this motion), as to what happened to the claimant which would give rise to a claim against the defendant.

The defendant's motion is granted; the claim is dismissed.

April 2, 2001
New York, New York

Judge of the Court of Claims