Wellborn Paluch, LLP Blog

Monday, November 14, 2016

Plaintiff Cannot Be Time Bared If Misled By NYCTA

If you were injured in an accident you may be entitled to compensation. As a plaintiff, you will always benefit from the timely filing of your claim and from hiring an experienced personal injury lawyer. This is especially true if you seek to sue a governmental agency. When dealing with a municipality, such as the City of New York, or any city agency or department, you need to keep in mind that there are additional filing requirements and specific statutes of limitations (time restrictions) that need to be complied with. You should also know that the government or agency might be using tricks involving these requirements in order to block your case. This was the situation in a recent personal injury case against the New York City Transit Authority (NYCTA).

On New Years Day 2012, Lori Jo Kenner was riding the “F” subway train in Coney Island, New York, when the door closed on her hand causing a fracture. She retained an attorney, who then served the Chairmen of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) with a timely notice of claim (an additional filing requirement when suing the City). Kenner’s attorney then received a letter notifying her of a hearing. It was unclear whether the letter came from the MTA or the NYCTA, which is actually responsible for operating the subway system. After the hearing, the NYCTA moved for summary judgment claim alleging that they were not served with a notice of claim.  Summary judgment was granted and Kenner appealed the decision. On appeal the court found that Kenner was misled into believing that service on the affiliated MTA was sufficient. The court found exceptional circumstances, which were required, based on previous case law. They held that because the plaintiff was essentially tricked into believing that service was sufficient that the agency could not use the statute of limitations against her.

If you are going up against a municipality or agency, do not leave it to chance. Contact a skilled personal injury attorney to handle your case today.

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