Prior Written Notice Requirement

The law requires municipalities, such as New York City, to maintain their streets and highways in a reasonably safe condition for people who use them. However, anyone seeking to recover for personal injuries arising from a defective condition on a New York City “street, highway, bridge, wharf, culvert, sidewalk or crosswalk” must – in addition…

Read More New York City’s “Prior Written Notice” Requirement
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In Henderson v. City of New York, plaintiff alleged that she tripped and fell on a manhole in a crosswalk at the intersection of Second Avenue and 74th Street in Manhattan. She claimed, in her notice of claim, that she fell due to a “raised, cracked, depressed, missing, broken and/or mis-leveled pavement and/or manhole cover…

Read More No Explicit Denial of Lack of Prior Written Notice Results in Denial of Summary Judgment to City in Trip/Fall Case
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In Wittorf v. City of New York, a bicycle injury case, the Court of Appeals reinstated an approximately $2 million jury verdict against the City. The court’s decision turned on the subtle, yet critical, distinction between “proprietary” and “governmental” functions. Judge Graffeo authored the opinion. Here are the facts of this bicycle injury case: On the…

Read More Court of Appeals Reinstates $2M Bicycle Injury Verdict, Finding That Closing Road Was a “Proprietary” Governmental Function
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A recent First Department decision, Abott v. City of New York, holds that the trial court properly dismissed plaintiff’s trip-and-fall complaint: The court properly directed a verdict for defendant City, as there was no rational process that would lead the trier of fact to find for plaintiff, who was injured after stepping into a pothole.…

Read More Pothole Injury Case Dismissed in Light of Prior Repairs
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In Pulver v. City of Fulton Dept. of Public Works (App. Div. 4th Dept. Jan. 3, 2014), the court reversed the lower court’s denial of defendant’s motion for summary judgment, and dismissed plaintiff’s complaint.  There, [plaintiff sued] to recover damages for injuries that she allegedly sustained when she tripped and fell in a hole in the…

Read More Defendant Wins in Trip and Fall Case, Where Plaintiff Could Not Demonstrate “Affirmative Negligence” Exception to “Prior Written Notice” Requirement
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