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,
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’
, IT IS ORDERED that motion no.
M-71953 be granted and claim no. 112442 be