New York State Court of Claims

New York State Court of Claims

ACEVEDO v. THE STATE OF NEW YORK, #2006-016-073, Claim No. 112442, Motion No. M-71953


Synopsis



Case Information

UID:
2006-016-073
Claimant(s):
FRANCISCO ACEVEDO
Claimant short name:
ACEVEDO
Footnote (claimant name) :

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

Third-party claimant(s):

Third-party defendant(s):

Claim number(s):
112442
Motion number(s):
M-71953
Cross-motion number(s):

Judge:
Alan C. Marin
Claimant’s attorney:
Adam M. Thompson, Esq.
Defendant’s attorney:
Eliot Spitzer, Attorney GeneralBy: Ellen Matowik Russell, Esq., AAG
Third-party defendant’s attorney:

Signature date:
November 8, 2006
City:
New York
Comments:

Official citation:

Appellate results:

See also (multicaptioned case)



Decision

Defendant moves to dismiss the claim of Francisco Acevedo, in which it is alleged that Mr. Acevedo slipped and fell at Riverbank State Park. Defendant contends that the claim fails to comply with §11.b of the Court of Claims Act (the “Act”) because it inadequately describes the location of the accident, and is also improperly verified. Section 11.b of the Act requires that a claim state five specific items: “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.b “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, 626, 622 NYS2d 177, 179 (Ct Cl 1994).

In this case, as to location, the claim states only that the accident occurred “at the track surrounding the Soccer Field in Riverbank State Park . . .” Given the size of the area, the information provided in the claim is inadequate for the purposes of §11.b of the Act. See, e.g., Sheils v State of New York, 249 AD2d 459, 671 NYS2d 519 (2d Dept 1998).

Claimant maintains that when he served defendant, he attached photographs to his claim. The copy of the claim filed with the Clerk of the Court has no photos attached, nor does the text of the claim refer to any photos, and defendant denies that any photos were attached to the copy of the claim served on it. In view of the foregoing, I cannot find that claimant attached any photographs to the copy of the claim served on defendant. In any event, a review of the two photos in question shows that without any explanation or markings, they do not provide any useful information as to the location of the alleged defect. The first of the two photographs shows an expanse of a multi-lane track with no indication of any alleged defect, and the second is a closeup of some sort of square cut, with no reference to location.

Claimant also states that after service of the claim, he sent additional photographs to defendant. Where jurisdiction is implicated, defendant is not required to go beyond the four corners of the claim to ascertain information which should have been provided in the claim itself. See, e.g., Schneider v State of New York, Ct Cl, filed September 14, 1995 (unreported, claim no. 91422, motion no. M-51856, cross-motion no. CM-52045, Silverman, J.).

In sum, Acevedo’s claim fails to adequately describe the location of his accident for the purposes of §11.b of the Act, and this Court lacks jurisdiction over the claim. Defendant’s remaining contentions thus need not be addressed. Accordingly, having reviewed the parties’ submissions[1], IT IS ORDERED that motion no. M-71953 be granted and claim no. 112442 be dismissed.[2]

November 8, 2006
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 and B; claimant’s affirmation in opposition with exhibits 1 and 2; and defendant’s reply affirmation with exhibits A and B.
  2. [2]In his opposition papers, claimant states that if his claim is dismissed, he would like to file a late claim. However, he has not yet filed a notice of motion seeking such relief pursuant to §10.6 of the Act.