WASIELEWSKI v. TOWN OF CHEEKTOWAGA

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Supreme Court, Appellate Division, Fourth Department, New York.

Thomas J. WASIELEWSKI and Sharon A. Wasielewski, Individually and as Parents and Natural Guardians of Daniel J. Wasielewski, an Infant, Plaintiffs-Respondents, v. TOWN OF CHEEKTOWAGA and/or Facilities Department, Defendants-Appellants.

Decided: March 21, 2001

PRESENT:  PIGOTT, JR., P.J., KEHOE, BURNS and LAWTON, JJ. Thomas P. Kawalec, for defendants-appellants. John P. Bartolomei, Niagara Falls, for plaintiffs-respondents.

 Supreme Court abused its discretion in denying defendants' motion to dismiss the complaint in this negligence action pursuant to CPLR 3216 based upon plaintiffs' failure to comply with defendants' 90-day demand to file a note of issue (see, Baczkowski v. Collins Constr. Co., 89 N.Y.2d 499, 504-505, 655 N.Y.S.2d 848, 678 N.E.2d 460;  Burridge v. Gaines, 281 A.D.2d 967, 722 N.Y.S.2d 681 [decided herewith];  see also, Rowley v. Carl Zeiss, Inc., 270 A.D.2d 835, 705 N.Y.S.2d 764, lv. denied 95 N.Y.2d 766, 716 N.Y.S.2d 640, 739 N.E.2d 1145;  Geise v. Wetherill, 238 A.D.2d 952, 661 N.Y.S.2d 559).   In response to defendants' demand pursuant to CPLR 3216, plaintiffs neither filed a note of issue within 90 days nor moved to vacate the demand or to extend the time within which to file a note of issue.   Thus, in order to avoid dismissal, plaintiffs were required to demonstrate a justifiable excuse for the delay and a meritorious cause of action (see, Rowley v. Carl Zeiss, Inc., supra;  Geise v. Wetherill, supra;  see also, Baczkowski v. Collins Constr. Co., supra, at 503, 655 N.Y.S.2d 848).   Here, the affidavit of plaintiffs' attorney, who lacks personal knowledge of the facts, is insufficient to establish a meritorious cause of action (see, Rowley v. Carl Zeiss, Inc., supra;  see also, Barton v. County of Monroe, 92 A.D.2d 746, 461 N.Y.S.2d 80).   The “generalized details” set forth in plaintiffs' verified complaint are likewise insufficient to establish a meritorious cause of action (Hogan v. City of Kingston, 243 A.D.2d 981, 982, 663 N.Y.S.2d 380, lv. dismissed in part and denied in part 91 N.Y.2d 907, 669 N.Y.S.2d 254, 692 N.E.2d 123;  see, Rowley v. Carl Zeiss, Inc., supra ).

Order unanimously reversed on the law without costs, motion granted and complaint dismissed.

MEMORANDUM: