CLAIMS AGAINST NEW YORK CITY AND NEW YORK CITY HEALTH AND HOSPITALS CORPORATION

Apr 17, 2009 — by Gary Zucker
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There are special rules and procedures that must be followed when bringing a claim against the City of New York and the New York Health and Hospitals Corporation (NYCHHC). For personal injuries claims, a Notice of Claim must be served within 90 days of the accident that forms the basis of the claim. For medical malpractice claims, a Notice of Claim must be served within 90 days from the date the malpractice was committed or within 90 days from the last date the injured party was treated for the injuries resulting from the malpractice by the facility, hospital, or health care provider acting in behalf of the City of New York or NYCHHC. The court has the discretion to grant permission to file a late Notice of Claim. Such application must be made within a year and 90 days from the accident or from the last date of treatment, however such permission is not always granted.

In determining whether to grant the application to serve a late Notice of Claim, the court must weigh various factors, including the length of delay, whether the City or NYCHHC has been prejudiced in defending the claim by virtue of the delay, and whether there is a justifiable excuse for the delay. Ignorance of the law is not a valid excuse. After the Notice of Claim is served, and before any lawsuit may be commenced, the City and NYCHHC have the right to question the individual bringing the claim under oath and to have that individual examined by a doctor. A lawsuit must be commenced within a year and 90 days from the date of the accident or malpractice or from the last date of treatment for the injuries resulting from the malpractice by the facility, hospital, or health care provider employed by or acting in behalf of the City or NYCHHC. The courts have no discretion to extend the statute of limitations.

Examples of claims against the City include falls caused by a dangerous or defective condition on a public sidewalk where the city owns the abutting building or where the abutting building is a 1, 2, or 3 family home occupied by the homeowner and used only for residential purposes. In addition, a claim may be brought against the City for injuries caused by a defect or a pothole located in the street or in a crosswalk. The injured person must show that the City either created the defective condition or that the City had written notice of the defective condition at least 15 days prior to the date of the accident. Since 1982, the Big Apple & Sidewalk Protection Corporation has filed maps with the City identifying defects located on sidewalks, curbs, and crosswalks.

When making a claim for an injury resulting from treatment at a hospital or medical center owned and operated by the New York City Health and Hospitals Corporation, the same requirements must be met and the same procedures must be followed as when a claim is made against the city. Click the following link for a list of New York City Health and Hospital Corporation facilities- http://www.nyc.gov/html/hhc/html/facilities/directory.shtml.

If you or a loved one has been injured as result of a fall on a public sidewalk or as a result of medical malpractice at a hospital or medical center owned by the City of New York or NYCHHC, please contact our accident or medical malpractice attorneys at Gary A. Zucker & Associates, P.C.

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