JONES v. JAMESTOWN PUBLIC SCHOOL DISTRICT

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

Matter of Wayne A. JONES and Suzanne Jones, Claimants-Appellants, v. JAMESTOWN PUBLIC SCHOOL DISTRICT and Jamestown Board of Education, Respondents-Respondents.

Decided: March 31, 1999

Present:  PINE, J.P., HAYES, WISNER, PIGOTT, JR., and HURLBUTT, JJ. Lipsitz Green Fahringer Roll Salisbury & Cambria, Buffalo (John Albert Collins, of counsel), for petitioners-appellants. Michael C. Lancer, Buffalo, for respondents-respondents. Ralph Cessario, Quackenbush Cessario & Hamlin, Buffalo.

 Wayne A. Jones (claimant) was allegedly injured on August 20, 1996, while working on the reconstruction of a roof for respondents.   Supreme Court properly denied claimants' motion in February 1997 for leave to serve a late notice of claim (cf., Matter of Rusiecki v. Clarkstown Cent. School Dist., 227 A.D.2d 493, 494, 643 N.Y.S.2d 132).  Respondents established that they had no knowledge of the facts constituting the claim within 90 days after the claim arose or within a reasonable time thereafter, and “knowledge of the facts constituting the claim is the factor that ‘should be accorded great weight’ ” (Kalenda v. Buffalo Mun. Hous. Auth., 203 A.D.2d 937, 611 N.Y.S.2d 386, quoting Matter of Stenowich v. Colonie Indus. Dev. Agency, 151 A.D.2d 894, 895, 542 N.Y.S.2d 863, lv. denied 74 N.Y.2d 615, 549 N.Y.S.2d 960, 549 N.E.2d 151;  see, Barnes v. County of Onondaga, 103 A.D.2d 624, 629, 481 N.Y.S.2d 539, aff'd 65 N.Y.2d 664, 491 N.Y.S.2d 613, 481 N.E.2d 245).   Additionally, claimants failed to establish a reasonable excuse for their failure to serve a timely notice of claim (see, Matter of Gilliam v. City of New York, 250 A.D.2d 680, 673 N.Y.S.2d 172;  Williams v. City of Niagara Falls, 244 A.D.2d 1006, 1007, 665 N.Y.S.2d 217), and respondents established that they would be prejudiced if leave to file a late notice of claim were granted (see, Williams v. City of Niagara Falls, supra;  Kalenda v. Buffalo Mun. Hous. Auth., supra).

Order unanimously affirmed without costs.

MEMORANDUM: