New York State Court of Claims

New York State Court of Claims

SPURLING v. THE STATE OF NEW YORK, #2007-044-564, Claim No. 112979, Motion No. None


Synopsis


Court sua sponte dismissed claim alleging that the State negligently investigated a claim concerning alleged maltreatment of a child by day care providers, on ground that claim failed to comply with jurisdictional requirement set forth in CCA § 11(b) that a sum certain be specifically stated

Case Information

UID:
2007-044-564
Claimant(s):
AMY SPURLING and JESSICA HYATT
Claimant short name:
SPURLING
Footnote (claimant name) :

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

Third-party claimant(s):

Third-party defendant(s):

Claim number(s):
112979
Motion number(s):
None
Cross-motion number(s):

Judge:
CATHERINE C. SCHAEWE
Claimant’s attorney:
LAW OFFICE OF RONALD R. BENJAMINBY: Ronald R. Benjamin, Esq., of counsel
Defendant’s attorney:
HON. ANDREW M. CUOMO, ATTORNEY GENERALBY: Carol A. Cocchiola, Assistant Attorney General
Third-party defendant’s attorney:

Signature date:
August 23, 2007
City:
Binghamton
Comments:

Official citation:

Appellate results:

See also (multicaptioned case)

.
Decision

Claimant Jessica Hyatt was employed as Director of a child day care center (the Center) operated by the Family Enrichment Network and located in the Village of Johnson City, Broome County. Claimant Amy Spurling was employed as, inter alia, an Assistant Director at the Center. In May 2006, a child fell while playing at the Center and suffered a spiral fracture of the right femur. The Broome County Department of Social Services conducted an investigation into the incident, and determined that both Hyatt and Spurling failed to seek prompt medical care for the child and were guilty of maltreatment. The report indicating maltreatment on the part of claimants was filed with the New York State Central Register of Child Abuse and Maltreatment. Shortly thereafter, both claimants were terminated. On November 3, 2006, claimants filed Claim No. 112979 alleging that defendant State of New York (defendant) was negligent in the investigation and determination that claimants failed to seek prompt treatment for the child. Defendant answered and asserted various affirmative defenses, including a defense that the claim was jurisdictionally defective because it failed to contain the total sum claimed. On March 22, 2007, the Court of Appeals decided the case of Kolnacki v State of New York (8 NY3d 277 [2007]), and specifically held that the failure to include the total sum of monetary damages within a claim was a jurisdictional defect which required dismissal of the claim.[1] Claimants failed to include the total sum in their claim as required by Court of Claims Act § 11 (b), and Claim No. 112279 is accordingly dismissed (see Kolnacki v State of New York, 8 NY3d 277 [2007]).[2]

August 23, 2007
Binghamton, New York

HON. CATHERINE C. SCHAEWE
Judge of the Court of Claims




[1]. Although the Governor has approved a bill passed by the New York State Legislature which would remove the jurisdictional requirement that a sum certain be stated, it is applicable only to personal injury, medical, dental, or podiatric malpractice, or wrongful death actions (Court of Claims § 11 [b], as amended by L 2007, ch 606). Accordingly, that legislation has no relevance to this proceeding.
[2]. Anticipating dismissal of this claim pursuant to Kolnacki, claimants have also moved for permission to file a late claim pursuant to Court of Claims Act § 10 (6). That motion will be addressed separately.