Can I Sue The City? Can I Sue The State? Important Things To Know When Suing A Municipal Defendant.


What happens when you slip and fall on a sidewalk in your town, city or village due to the negligence of that municipality? What happens when your kindergardener falls off monkey bars that clearly state that a child must be 8 years and older to use them during their physical education period? What happens when you slip and fall in an extra wide gap when boarding your subway or train? Who do you sue? How do you sue them?

Unlike a private defendant, Municipal Defendants such as The City of New York; State of New York School Districts such as the Mt. Vernon School District, Yonkers School District or New York City Board of Education; and Public Authorities such as the MTA, NYCTA or Metro North Railroad, require a special conditions precedent before you can sue them.

According to New York State law, you need to make a Notice of Claim (when suing cities, educational departments, and public authorites) or a Notice of Intent to Sue (when suing NY state) within 90 days of the date of the accident. The Notice of Claim or Notice of Intent to Sue needs to be sent by certified mail or served like a summons to the correct office that is responsible for receiving such notice. If you fail to do so within the given time period, you can be barred from suing those entities.
The notice of claim also has to give the municipal entity enough information so that they can do a good faith investigation of the place that you fell. Photographs, accident reports and other identifiable information must also be given to the municipality.
After the Notice of Claim is served to a municipality, that municipality can make you do a pre-suit deposition where an attorney for the municipality can ask you questions under oath regarding your accident.
After you have completed the deposition, you can sue within 30 days.
You should also know that you have an extremely limited time to sue a municipality. In some instances, you have one year and ninety days (City of New York), and in some instances, one year (public authorities) or less. For this reason, if you have been injured by a municipality, it’s important to call a skilled and experienced attorney at The Law Offices of Jason B. Kessler as soon as possible.Mr. Kessler has experience dealing with municipal litigation and is a former Assistant Corporation Counsel for the City of New York.
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Jason B. Kessler Attorney At Law is a full service law firm where attorneys with their extensive experience provide strong & Aggressive defense against Personal Injury cases.