New York State Court of Claims

New York State Court of Claims

SANTORO v. THE STATE OF NEW YORK, et al., #2009-036-522, Claim No. 114579, Motion No. M-75978


Synopsis



Case Information

UID:
2009-036-522
Claimant(s):
FRANK SANTORO and ROSE A. SANTORO
Claimant short name:
SANTORO
Footnote (claimant name) :

Defendant(s):
THE STATE OF NEW YORK, et al.
Footnote (defendant name) :

Third-party claimant(s):

Third-party defendant(s):

Claim number(s):
114579
Motion number(s):
M-75978
Cross-motion number(s):

Judge:
MELVIN L. SCHWEITZER
Claimant’s attorney:
FORTUNATO & FORTUNATO, PLLCBy: Camille A. Fortunato, Esq.
Defendant’s attorney:
ANDREW M. CUOMO, ATTORNEY GENERAL
By: Robert J. Schwerdt Assistant Attorney General
Third-party defendant’s attorney:

Signature date:
April 29, 2009
City:
New York
Comments:

Official citation:

Appellate results:

See also (multicaptioned case)



Decision


Defendant moves pursuant to Court of Claims Act § 9 to dismiss the claim on the basis that the accident which is the subject of this dispute took place on property owned by the Hudson River Park Trust that exists independently and autonomously from the State of New York.[1] In support of its motion, defendant has submitted a copy of The Hudson River Park Act (“the Act”), Laws of 1998, Ch 592 (McKinney’s), still in effect. See Ex. B to the Moving Affirmation. The Act created a public benefit corporation known as the Hudson River Park Trust (“the Trust”) with total control “...to plan, design, develop, construct, operate, and maintain” a geographic area defined as the “Hudson River Park” and described in Act §§ 3 (e) (i)-(v) inclusive. (Act § 6 [a]) Piers 62/63, the location of the alleged accident in the claim here, is included in the area of the Hudson River Park over which the Trust has total dominion and control. This is further evidenced by a copy of the Short Form Contract between the Trust and the claimant’s employer, which contract encompassed the activities that occasioned claimant’s presence in the area where the accident in question occurred. See Ex. C to the Moving Affirmation.

Section 9 (2) of the Court of Claims Act provides that the Court’s jurisdiction is limited to Claims “...against the state...”, or “...the torts of its officers or its employees while acting as such officers or employees...” The independent existence of the Trust from the State thus excludes it from Court of Claims jurisdiction. See Prime Energy Solutions v State of New York, Claim No. 114736, Motion No. M-74622 [Ct Cl 2008].

Accordingly, the court lacks jurisdiction over the claim and grants defendant’s motion to dismiss.

April 29, 2009
New York, New York

HON. MELVIN L. SCHWEITZER
Judge of the Court of Claims




[1]. In connection with this motion, the court read and considered the Notice of Motion, dated November 25, 2008 and Affirmation in Support of Defendant’s Motion to Dismiss, dated November 25, 2008 (the “Moving Affirmation”) and Exhibits annexed thereto; Affirmation in Opposition, dated January 7, 2009, and Exhibits annexed thereto; and Affirmation in Reply, dated January 15, 2009.