YANKANA v. CITY OF NEW YORK

Reset A A Font size: Print

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

Cynthia YANKANA, et al., Appellants, v. CITY OF NEW YORK, Respondent, et al.,Defendants.

Decided: January 26, 1998

Before BRACKEN, J.P., and COPERTINO, THOMPSON and LUCIANO, JJ. Babitch & Babitch, New York City (Wendy Dinowitz, of counsel), for appellants. Michael D. Hess, Corporation Counsel, New York City (Stephen J. McGrath and Alan Beckoff, of counsel), for respondent.

In an action to recover damages for personal injuries, etc., the plaintiffs appeal from an order of the Supreme Court, Kings County (Greenstein, J.), dated September 3, 1996, which granted the cross motion of the defendant City of New York to dismiss the complaint insofar as asserted against it for failure to comply with General Municipal Law § 50-e.

ORDERED that the order is affirmed, with costs.

 “The purpose of the notice of claim requirement is to afford the municipal corporation adequate opportunity to investigate the circumstances surrounding the accident and explore the merits of the claim while the information is likely to be available” (Altmayer v. City of New York, 149 A.D.2d 638, 639, 540 N.Y.S.2d 459;  see also, Whitfield v. Town of Oyster Bay, 225 A.D.2d 763, 640 N.Y.S.2d 180;  Santiago v. New York City Hous. Auth., 220 A.D.2d 655, 633 N.Y.S.2d 68) The requirements of the statute are met when the notice describes the accident with sufficient particularity so as to enable the defendant to locate the defect, conduct a proper investigation, and assess the merits of the claim (see, Caselli v. City of New York, 105 A.D.2d 251, 253, 483 N.Y.S.2d 401;  see also, Walston v. City of New York, 229 A.D.2d 485, 645 N.Y.S.2d 513;  Fendig v. City of New York, 132 A.D.2d 520, 517 N.Y.S.2d 536)

 In the instant case, the court properly granted the City's cross motion to dismiss the complaint insofar as asserted against it.   The notice of claim, which merely stated that the accident occurred “at or about Clarkson Avenue and Rogers Avenue, Brooklyn”, failed to describe the location of the alleged defect with sufficient particularity (see, Harper v. City of New York, 129 A.D.2d 770, 514 N.Y.S.2d 763;  see also, Frankfort v. City of New York, 159 A.D.2d 680, 553 N.Y.S.2d 182;  Lupo v. City of New York, 160 A.D.2d 773, 554 N.Y.S.2d 60) Contrary to the plaintiff's contentions, neither the photographs nor the General Municipal Law § 50-h hearing sufficiently clarified the notice of claim (see, Matter of Valle v. New York City Hous. Auth., 224 A.D.2d 433, 637 N.Y.S.2d 757;  Setton v. City of New York, 174 A.D.2d 723, 571 N.Y.S.2d 566)

We have examined the plaintiffs' remaining contentions and find them to be without merit.

MEMORANDUM BY THE COURT.

Copied to clipboard