In his underlying claim, David Huttner alleges that because of defendant's
negligence, he fell while running on the Queens College campus. This is
defendant's motion to dismiss on the grounds that: (1) the claim fails to
adequately describe the site of the accident for the purposes of §11 of the
Court of Claims Act (the "Act"); (2) the amended claim was not served on the
City University of New York; and (3) claimant assumed the risk of
falling. 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 purpose of §11 of the Act "is to give the State prompt notice of an
occurrence and an opportunity to investigate the facts . . ." Cannon v State
of New York, 163 Misc 2d 623, 622 NYS2d 177, 179 (Ct Cl 1994) (citation
In this case, the location of claimant's accident is described as "the ramp
going around the quadrangle on the southwest corner between the main library and
the new science building . . ."
Claimant points out that on January 9, 1998, a copy of his expert's report,
which included photographs of the accident site, were sent to defendant.
Defendant correctly notes, however, that where jurisdiction is implicated, it is
not required to go beyond the four corners of the claim to ascertain information
which should have been provided by the claim. See, e.g., Conry v State of
New York, Ct Cl filed 10/31/00, Marin, J. (unreported, claim no. 102655,
motion no. M-61969, cross-motion no. CM-62174).
The map of campus provided by defendant – and for that matter, claimant's
photographs – make clear that the ramp is a lengthy structure, and the
reference to the ramp's "southwest corner" is not specific enough for the
purposes of §11 of the Act (see exhibit D to the February 21, 2002
affirmation of Grace A. Brannigan). See, e.g., Sheils v State of New
York, 249 AD2d 459, 671 NYS2d 519 (2d Dept 1998) (a claim alleging that an
accident occurred in front of a property with a 1000-foot frontage was found
For the foregoing reasons, this Court lacks jurisdiction over the claim of
David Huttner, and the remaining grounds for defendant's motion need not be
reached. Accordingly, having reviewed the parties'
, IT IS ORDERED that motion no.
M-64769 be granted and claim no. 98331 be dismissed.