Pressley v. State, 2022-50319

CourtNew York Court of Claims
Writing for the CourtWalter Rivera, J.
PartiesKarlene Pressley, Claimant, v. The State of New York, [1]Defendant.
Decision Date09 February 2022
Docket Number2022-50319,Claim 136312

Karlene Pressley, Claimant,
v.

The State of New York, [1]Defendant.

No. 2022-50319

Claim No. 136312

Court of Claims

February 9, 2022


Unpublished Opinion

For Claimant:

SHULMAN & HILL, PLLC

By: Michael Zogala, Esq.

For Defendant:

LETITIA JAMES

Attorney General for the State of New York

By: Dian Kerr McCullough, Assistant Attorney General

Walter Rivera, J.

The following papers numbered 1-3 were read and considered by the Court on the State's motion to dismiss and claimant's cross-motion for permission to amend the claim or to file a late notice of intention:

Notice of Motion, State's Attorney's Supporting Affirmation, and Exhibit 1

Attorney's Affirmation Opposing Motion and Supporting Cross-Motion, and Exhibit 2

State's Attorney's Affirmation in Reply, and Opposing Cross-Motion 3

Claimant's Attorney's Reply Affirmation 4

The instant claim for negligence alleges that on March 16, 2021, at approximately 3:37 p.m., claimant was injured when her vehicle was struck on the Sprain Brook Parkway, in the City of Greenburgh, County of Westchester, by a vehicle owned by New York State and the New York State Police Department, and operated by Steve Cox. [2]The claim was filed on April 30, 2021.

The State brings this motion to dismiss the claim on the grounds of failure to provide sufficient details to satisfy the pleading requirements of Court of Claims Act §11 (b), and failure to state a cause of action pursuant to CPLR 3211 (a) (2) and (a) (7). Claimant opposes the motion to dismiss and cross-moves to amend the claim pursuant to CPLR 2001 and Court of Claims Act § 9 (8), or alternatively to permit the filing of a late notice of intention pursuant to Court of Claims Act § 10 (6). The State opposes the cross-motion.

Motion to Dismiss (96960)

The pleading requirements set forth in Court of Claims Act § 11 (b) provide that a claim shall set forth "the time when and place where such claim arose, the nature of same, the items of damage or injuries claimed to have been sustained and, except in an action to recover damages for personal injury, medical, dental or podiatric malpractice or wrongful death, the total sum claimed." "[T]he sufficiency of a claim rests solely upon the assertions contained therein, and [the State] is not required to go beyond the claim in order to investigate" (Lepkowski v State of New York, 1 N.Y.3d 201, 206 [2003]). The" 'statutory requirements conditioning suit must be strictly construed'" (Kimball Brooklands Corp. v State of New York, 180 A.D.3d 1031, 1032 [2d Dept 2020], quoting Lichtenstein v State of New York, 93 N.Y.2d 911, 913 [1999]). The State "is not required to ferret out or assemble information that section 11 (b) obligates the claimant to allege" (Davila v State of New York, 140 A.D.3d 1415, 1416 [3d Dept 2016] [citations omitted]). A claimant's failure to meet the substantive requirements of Court of Claims § 11 (b) constitutes a jurisdictional defect mandating dismissal (see Lepkowski, 1 N.Y.3d at 209; Fairchild Corp. v State of New York, 117 A.D.3d 780, 780 [2d Dept 2014]).

The claim (Ex. A) alleges, for "[t]he time when, the place where and the manner in which the claim arose," only that:

"[t]he claim arose on March 16, 2021 at approximately 3:37 p.m. on the Sprain Brook Parkway in the City [sic] of Greenburgh, County of Westchester and State of New York. At the time and place of the occurrence, the claimant was operating a 2018 Acura motor vehicle with New York State license plate KGD5085 a [sic] on Sprain Brook
...

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