New York State Court of Claims

New York State Court of Claims

SYLVESTER v. NEW YORK STATE THRUWAY AUTHORITY, #2002-018-182, Claim No. 106339, Motion No. M-65638


Synopsis


Defendant's motion to dismiss the claim is granted pursuant to §11(b) of the Court of Claims Act.

The claim and/or notice of intention must specify the time when, the place where the claim arose and the nature of the claim.

Case Information

UID:
2002-018-182
Claimant(s):
SHARON A. SYLVESTER
Claimant short name:
SYLVESTER
Footnote (claimant name) :

Defendant(s):
NEW YORK STATE THRUWAY AUTHORITY
Footnote (defendant name) :

Third-party claimant(s):

Third-party defendant(s):

Claim number(s):
106339
Motion number(s):
M-65638
Cross-motion number(s):

Judge:
DIANE L. FITZPATRICK
Claimant's attorney:
JAMES B. FLECKENSTEIN, ESQUIRE
Defendant's attorney:
ELIOT SPITZER
Attorney General of the State of New York
By: ROGER B. WILLIAMS, ESQUIREAssistant Attorney General
Third-party defendant's attorney:

Signature date:
November 15, 2002
City:
Syracuse
Comments:

Official citation:

Appellate results:

See also (multicaptioned case)


Decision
Defendant brings a motion to dismiss this claim for lack of jurisdiction. Claimant opposes the motion, but has not brought a motion for independent relief.

Defendant argues that the claim must be dismissed for failure to comply with Court of Claims Act §11(b). It is defendant's position that the claim fails to state the location of the accident or assert any manner in which the New York State Thruway Authority was negligent.

Claimant argues that dismissal is only warranted if the pleading is defective on its face, and in this case the claim is not defective because it adequately states a cause of action. Claimant concedes that no location is stated for the accident; however, argues that this can be provided by a bill of particulars.

The claim alleges in pertinent part as follows:
  1. At all times hereinafter mentioned, claimant was the operator of a certain 1995 Chevrolet automobile bearing New York registration number Y102LH.
  1. At all times hereinafter mentioned, the Chevrolet automobile was owned by and registered to claimant's husband Frank A. Sylvester.
  1. At all times hereinafter mentioned, defendant was the owner of a certain 1993 Ford truck, bearing New York registration number C10120.
  1. At all times hereinafter mentioned, upon information and belief, Timothy J. Chase was operating the Ford truck with the consent and permission of the defendant.
  1. At all times hereinafter mentioned, upon information and belief, Timothy J. Chase was an employee of defendant acting in the course and within the scope of his employment with defendant.
  1. On the 21st day of July, 2000 Timothy J. Chase operated the truck in a negligent manner resulting in the injuries and damages hereinafter alleged.
  1. As a result of the negligence of Timothy J. Chase and defendant, the claimant suffered a "serious injury" as such term is defined in the Insurance Law of the State of New York.
  1. The personal injury suffered by the claimant was caused solely by the negligence of Timothy J. Chase and defendant.
  1. As a result of the negligence of Timothy J. Chase and the defendant, claimant was caused to suffer substantial general and special damages.

Court of Claims Act §11(b) requires in relevant part 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..." These requirements, unlike the pleading requirements in an action brought in supreme court, are jurisdictional and are strictly construed (
Park v State of New York, 226 AD2d 153). A claim that fails to meet these minimal requirements[1] cannot be saved by a bill of particulars or a motion for a more definite statement pursuant to CPLR 3024. The failure to comply with those requirements deprives this Court of jurisdiction to hear the claim (Grande v State of New York, 160 Misc 2d 383, 386).
Court of Claims Act §11(b) specifically requires that the claim, as well as the notice of intention, specify the time when, the place where the claim arose and the nature of the same.
Accordingly, defendant's motion is GRANTED and the claim is dismissed.


November 15, 2002
Syracuse, New York
HON. DIANE L. FITZPATRICK
Judge of the Court of Claims


The Court considered the following documents in deciding this motion:

Notice of Motion........................................................................................1

Affirmation of Roger B. Williams, Esquire, Assistant

Attorney General, in support...........................................................2


Affirmation of James B. Fleckenstein, Esquire, in opposition,

with all exhibits attached thereto.....................................................3


Filed Documents:


Claim..........................................................................................................4



[1]See, Partridge v State of New York, New York State Canal Corporation, and New York State Thruway Authority, Ct Cl, J. Patti, dated March –, 2001, Claim No. 90710, Motion No. M-62089, p. 4, UID No. 2001-013-001 (
But compare, Cannon v State of New York, 163 Misc 2d 623, 626; Torres v State of New York, Ct Cl, J. Nadel, dated April 30, 2001, Claim No. 102400, Motion Nos. M-62782, CM-62927. UID No. 2001-014-532 (
Both cases involved cross-motions to amend the claim.