Wrongful Death Claim Against NYCHA by Police Officer's Family Was Untimely
LVT Number: #32339
In 2014, police officer Guerra entered a NYCHA building after observing smoke coming from the 13th floor. Officer Guerra and his partner were soon overcome by smoke and collapsed. Firefighters rescued them and took them to the hospital, but Officer Guerra died three days later. His estate sued NYCHA for Guerra's son's losses, as well as the officer's injuries, and his wife's loss of consortium. But NYCHA argued that the timely filed notice of claim didn't make claims for the decedent's injury, pain, suffering, and death, or loss of consortium. The court agreed and dismissed all claims personal to Officer Guerra and on behalf of his estate for his injuries, including conscious pain and suffering and death allegedly due to NYCHA's negligence, and all claims by his wife for loss of consortium. A second notice of claim filed and raising these additional claims was untimely. And that notice of claim was for wrongful death. A notice of claim may be amended only to correct good faith and nonprejudicial technical mistakes, omissions, or defectives, not to substantively change the nature of the claim or the theory of liability.
Guerra v. NYCHA: Index No. 501366/2015, 76 Misc.3d 1219(A), 2022 NY Slip Op 50993(U)(Sup. Ct. Kings; 10/13/22; Melendez, J)