SPARROCK v. CITY OF NEW YORK

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

Philip SPARROCK, et al., Appellants, v. CITY OF NEW YORK, et al., Respondents.

Decided: August 11, 1997

Before BRACKEN, J.P., and COPERTINO, ALTMAN and FLORIO, JJ. Sanders, Sanders, Block & Woycik, P.C., Mineola, (Edward P. Dunphy and E. David Woycik, of counsel), for appellants. Paul A. Crotty, Corporation Counsel, New York City, (Larry A. Sonnenshein and Mordecai Newman, of counsel), for respondents.

In an action, inter alia, to recover damages for personal injuries, etc., the plaintiffs appeal from a judgment of the Supreme Court, Kings County (Ramirez, J.), dated May 20, 1996, which, upon a jury verdict in favor of the defendants, dismissed the complaint.

ORDERED that the judgment is affirmed, with costs.

The plaintiff Philip Sparrock tripped and fell on a stairway in a park adjacent to the Kings County Supreme Court building.   Contrary to his contention, any intra-departmental work orders submitted by a supervisor with the New York City Department of Parks which noted that the steps at issue were in disrepair would not satisfy the notice requirement of the “Pothole Law” (Administrative Code of City of N.Y. § 7-201[c];  see, Laing v. City of New York, 71 N.Y.2d 912, 528 N.Y.S.2d 530, 523 N.E.2d 816).   Moreover, the plaintiffs failed to establish that there was a manifest defect in the steps so as to put this case within the narrow exception to the rule requiring written notice (see, Ferris v. County of Suffolk, 174 A.D.2d 70, 579 N.Y.S.2d 436;  Blake v. City of Albany, 63 A.D.2d 1075, 405 N.Y.S.2d 832, affd. 48 N.Y.2d 875, 424 N.Y.S.2d 358, 400 N.E.2d 300).   Since the plaintiffs failed to satisfy the statutory condition precedent to bringing an action against the City for injuries arising from a defective condition (see, Katz v. City of New York, 87 N.Y.2d 241, 638 N.Y.S.2d 593, 661 N.E.2d 1374), the trial court properly precluded evidence regarding their claim of negligent maintenance.

The plaintiffs' remaining contentions are without merit.

MEMORANDUM BY THE COURT.

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