New York State Court of Claims

New York State Court of Claims

QUINT v. STATE OF NEW YORK and CITY UNIVERSITY OF NEW YORK AT BROOKLYN COLLEGE, #2008-016-056, Claim No. 114434, Motion No. M-75226


Synopsis



Case Information

UID:
2008-016-056
Claimant(s):
LEA QUINT
Claimant short name:
QUINT
Footnote (claimant name) :

Defendant(s):
STATE OF NEW YORK and CITY UNIVERSITY OF NEW YORK AT BROOKLYN COLLEGE
Footnote (defendant name) :

Third-party claimant(s):

Third-party defendant(s):

Claim number(s):
114434
Motion number(s):
M-75226
Cross-motion number(s):

Judge:
Alan C. Marin
Claimant’s attorney:
John J. Appell, Esq.By: Robert T. Parrinelli, Esq.
Defendant’s attorney:
Andrew M. Cuomo, Attorney General
By: Gwendolyn Hatcher, Esq., AAGNo Appearance
Third-party defendant’s attorney:

Signature date:
October 14, 2008
City:
New York
Comments:

Official citation:

Appellate results:

See also (multicaptioned case)



Decision

Claimant Lea Quint moves to amend the caption of her claim to name as the sole defendant the City University of New York (“CUNY”) and to strike defendants’ second and third affirmative defenses. In her underlying claim, Ms. Quint alleges that on September 24, 2007, she slipped and fell at Brooklyn College, one of CUNY’s senior colleges. Quint’s claim, as originally served and filed, named as defendants the “State of New York and City University of New York at Brooklyn College.” In the answer filed on behalf of the State and CUNY, the second affirmative defense is that the Court of Claims does not have jurisdiction over “the named defendant City University of New York at Brooklyn College.” The third affirmative defense is that CUNY must be individually named as a party and served in accordance with Article 125 of the Education Law.[1]

CUNY and the State of New York are distinct legal entities and the State is not a proper defendant in claims based on the alleged negligence of CUNY. See, e.g., Davalos v City University of New York, Ct Cl, February 4, 2002 (unreported, claim no. 105280, motion nos. M-64508 and CM-64564, UID #2002-016-010[2], Marin, J.) Notably, claimant has not moved to strike the first affirmative defense in this action, i.e., that the State is not a proper party defendant in this claim.

As to naming the City University of New York at Brooklyn College, rather than just the City University of New York, there has been no legal precedent advanced by CUNY -- which did not oppose this motion -- that a jurisdictional issue has been implicated. In fact, it has been held that “[w]here an entity has been properly served with a pleading such that although omitted from its caption, the recipient reasonably should have been put on notice that it was a target of the lawsuit, jurisdiction is acquired and the error of the caption may be treated as a mere irregularity.” Ibekweh v State of New York, 157 Misc 2d 710, 711 598 NYS2d 664 (Ct Cl 1993). In the instant case, CUNY was not omitted, but merely named more specifically as being at Brooklyn College.

In view of the foregoing, having reviewed the submissions[3], IT IS ORDERED that motion no. M-75226 be granted, that the caption of this claim be amended to name the City University of New York as the sole defendant, and that the second and third affirmative defenses in the verified answer of the State and CUNY be deemed stricken.

October 14, 2008
New York, New York

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




  1. [1]There is apparently no dispute that CUNY was properly served with the claim in this case.
  2. [2]This and other decisions of the Court of Claims may be found on the court’s website: www.nyscourtofclaims.state.ny.us.
  3. [3]The court reviewed claimant’s notice of motion with affirmation in support and undesignated exhibits. Defendant filed no opposition papers.