This is defendant's motion to dismiss the claim of Higbie Collision, Inc.,
which alleges breach of contract. The grounds for defendant's motion are that
the claim was not timely commenced and that it fails to set forth facts beyond
conclusory allegations such that it is possible for the state to defend the
claim. Section 11(b) of the Act provides that a "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 claim
must plead the facts relied upon to sustain a recovery. In addition it must set
forth a valid cause of action . . ." Cannon v State of New York, 163 Misc
2d 623, 625, 622 NYS2d 177, 178 (Ct Cl 1994) (citation omitted). The purpose
of §11 of the Act "is to give the State prompt notice of an occurrence and
an opportunity to investigate the facts . . ." Id., 163 Misc 2d at 626,
622 NYS2d at 179.
In this case, the claim states that it is for "breach of the bid IFB(Proposal)
Number-BA097 for the area identified as ‘Region 10' which was awarded to
the Claimant" and that "[o]n or after January, 1997 and [continuing] to date[,]
Claimant has been precluded from rendering tow services on the Robert Moses
Bridge . . ." Aside from a description of the hours and pricing under which
claimant was allegedly authorized to provide towing, no information has been
provided as to the terms of the Contract, or how it is that defendant allegedly
breached it. "Conclusory or general allegations . . . that fail to adduce the
manner in which the claimant was injured and how the State was negligent do not
meet [the] requirements [of §11 of the Act]." Heisler v State of New
York, 78 AD2d 767, 767-68, 433 NYS2d 646, 648 (4th Dept 1980).
Claimant argues that prior to filing the claim, discussions were held with the
New York State Department of Transportation, which would have made defendant
"fully apprised of the nature of the claim." However, where jurisdiction is
implicated, a defendant is not required to look beyond the four corners of the
claim to determine the essential facts. See, for example, Schneider v State
of New York, Ct Cl filed 9/14/95, Silverman J. (unreported, claim no. 91422,
motion no. M-51856, cross-motion no. CM-52045). In short, claimant's
allegations are conclusory and general and fail to meet the requirements of
§11 of the Act and the remaining ground for defendant's motion need not be
Finally, claimant's opposition papers refer to §10.6 of the Court of
Claims Act, which permits the filing of a late claim under certain
circumstances. As claimant has not filed a notice of motion with regard to a
late claim and since no such motion is pending at this time, it is not the
subject of this order. Nothing herein shall preclude the making of such a
motion at a later date, subject to all relevant timing and other requirements of
the Court of Claims Act.
In view of the foregoing, having reviewed the parties'
IT IS ORDERED that motion no.
M-63351 is granted and claim no. 103086 is dismissed.