Leeds v. Metropolitan Transp. Authority

CourtNew York City Court
Writing for the CourtHAROLD TOMPKINS
Citation452 N.Y.S.2d 551,114 Misc.2d 797
Decision Date09 July 1982
PartiesOliver LEEDS, Plaintiff, v. METROPOLITAN TRANSPORTATION AUTHORITY and New York City Transit Authority, Defendant.

Page 551

452 N.Y.S.2d 551
114 Misc.2d 797
Oliver LEEDS, Plaintiff,
v.
METROPOLITAN TRANSPORTATION AUTHORITY and New York City
Transit Authority, Defendant.
Civil Court of the City of New York,
Special Term, Part I.
July 9, 1982.

Page 552

LeBoeuf, Lamb, Leiby & MacRae, New York City (Thomas G. Rohback, New York City, of counsel), for plaintiff.

Richard K. Bernard, Brooklyn (James P. McMahon and Walter J. McCarroll, Brooklyn, of counsel), for defendant.

HAROLD TOMPKINS, Judge:

On this motion to dismiss the complaint is raised an issue apparently unresolved to date by any trial court in the City of New York or any appellate court of this State. Are Metropolitan Transportation Authority (hereinafter "MTA") and the New York City Transit Authority (hereinafter "TA") required to pay refunds, equal to token expenditures, to a passenger for alleged late service and for unsanitary conditions on the routes he travels?

The relief requested by plaintiff on a contractual theory in this action must be denied for the reasons set forth herein.

Plaintiff Oliver Leeds (hereinafter "Leeds") travels each work day on the "GG" trains. During the period encompassed by his complaint, the trains have been admittedly late, the system has been permeated with graffiti, there has been a lack of trash removal, bathroom facilities and benches and often a lack of personal safety 1.

Leeds seeks $15 as a refund for token purchases due to "breach of contract" 2. Leeds cites three recent cases that have found contractual liability on the part of the Long Island Railroad and the Consolidated Rail Corp. (Conrail), to passengers for late and faulty service. (See Dominianni v. Consolidated Rail Corp., 110 Misc.2d 929, 443 N.Y.S.2d 334 Kessel v. Long Island R. R. Co., 107 Misc.2d 1067, 436 N.Y.S.2d 684 Javeline v. Long Island R. R. Co., 106 Misc.2d 814, 435 N.Y.S.2d 513 ).

This Court does not choose to follow the precedent of those cases. Furthermore, Conrail and the Long Island Railroad provide traditional railroad service in interstate commerce. United Transportation Union v. Long Island R. R. Co., --- U.S. ----, 102 S.Ct. 1349, 71 L.Ed.2d 547 (1982) 3.

The TA is a public benefit corporation. General Construction Law § 66(4) provides:

"A public benefit corporation is a corporation organized to construct or operate a public improvement wholly or partly within the state, the profits from which enure to the benefit of this or other states or to the people thereof".

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2 practice notes
  • Fendelman v. Conrail
    • United States
    • New York Villiage Court
    • 16 Marzo 1983
    ...in Leeds v. Metropolitan Transportation Authority and New York City Transit Authority, 1982, Appellate Term, First Judicial Department, 114 Misc.2d 797, 452 N.Y.S.2d 551, in support of its contention that governmental immunity bars the suits brought here. The Leeds decision is factually dis......
  • Leeds v. Metropolitan Transp. Authority
    • United States
    • New York Supreme Court — Appellate Term
    • 14 Enero 1983
    ...of a token, and that there is no specific statute exempting the defendant from ordinary, common law contract liability. Special Term, 114 Misc.2d 797, 452 N.Y.S.2d 551 dismissed the complaint on the ground that no cause of action was stated, and we affirm. At the outset, it is at once appar......
2 cases
  • Fendelman v. Conrail
    • United States
    • New York Villiage Court
    • 16 Marzo 1983
    ...in Leeds v. Metropolitan Transportation Authority and New York City Transit Authority, 1982, Appellate Term, First Judicial Department, 114 Misc.2d 797, 452 N.Y.S.2d 551, in support of its contention that governmental immunity bars the suits brought here. The Leeds decision is factually dis......
  • Leeds v. Metropolitan Transp. Authority
    • United States
    • New York Supreme Court — Appellate Term
    • 14 Enero 1983
    ...of a token, and that there is no specific statute exempting the defendant from ordinary, common law contract liability. Special Term, 114 Misc.2d 797, 452 N.Y.S.2d 551 dismissed the complaint on the ground that no cause of action was stated, and we affirm. At the outset, it is at once appar......

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