Tenant Can File Late Notice of Claim Against NYCHA

LVT Number: #24506

Tenant sued the city and NYCHA for negligence after his father slipped and fell on a walkway due to accumulated snow and ice. Tenant asked the court for permission to file a late notice of claim. The court ruled for tenant. NYCHA appealed and lost. The trial court had the power to rule that, in its discretion, tenant should be able to file a late notice of claim. The court's exercise of its discretion was reasonable. The accident occurred on Dec. 28, 2010. Tenant delivered his notice of claim on May 6, 2011, less than six weeks after the 90-day filing requirement ended. Tenant's late notice was sufficient to serve as actual knowledge of the claim, and it was delivered within a reasonable time after the 90-day deadline. NYCHA's claim that the late filing made it difficult to locate witnesses wasn't enough to bar the claim. And given the transitory nature of any snow or ice condition, NYCHA may have had problems investigating the claim even if it was timely.

Mercado v. City of New York: 953 N.Y.S.2d 206, 2012 NY Slip Op 07425 (App. Div. 1 Dept.; 11/8/12; Mazzarelli, JP, Friedman, Catterson, Renwick, Freedman, JJ)