New York State Court of Claims

New York State Court of Claims

HUTTNER v. THE STATE OF NEW YORK and STATE UNIVERSITY OF NEW YORK, #2002-016-051, Claim No. 98331, Motion No. M-64769


Synopsis


Claim was dismissed for failing to comply with §11 of the Court of Claims Act

Case Information

UID:
2002-016-051
Claimant(s):
DAVID HUTTNER
Claimant short name:
HUTTNER
Footnote (claimant name) :

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

Third-party claimant(s):

Third-party defendant(s):

Claim number(s):
98331
Motion number(s):
M-64769
Cross-motion number(s):

Judge:
Alan C. Marin
Claimant's attorney:
Harold Chetrick, Esq.
Defendant's attorney:
Eliot Spitzer, Attorney GeneralBy: Grace A. Brannigan, Esq., AAG
Third-party defendant's attorney:

Signature date:
May 22, 2002
City:
New York
Comments:

Official citation:

Appellate results:

See also (multicaptioned case)



Decision

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 omitted).

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 insufficient).

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' submissions[1], IT IS ORDERED that motion no. M-64769 be granted and claim no. 98331 be dismissed.


May 22, 2002
New York, New York

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




  1. [1]The following were reviewed: defendant's notice of motion with affirmation in support and exhibits A-E; claimant's affidavit in opposition with undesignated exhibits; and defendant's reply affirmation with exhibits A-C.