Instructions For Filing Tort (Lawsuit) Claims Against the City of New York


Instrucciones Para Hacer un Reclamo Contra La Ciudad de Nueva York.

Under Section 50-e of the General Municipal Law, all tort claims against the City of New York should be filed with:

The Comptroller of the City of New York
Municipal Building – Room 1225
1 Centre Street
New York, New York 10007

The Notice of Claim should be in writing on the enclosed forms or in a similar format. The Notice of Claim must beNotarized and served Personally or by Certified Mail within ninety (90) days from the date of the occurrence.


1. Tort Claims against the following authorities should NOT be filed with the Comptroller’s Office.

N.Y.C. Transit Authority

New York Housing Authority

Triboro Bridge & Tunnel Authority

Board of Higher Education

Manhattan & Bronx Surface Transit Port Authority

Operating Authority (MABSTOA)

N.Y.C. School Construction Authority

Battery Park City Authority

Tort Claims against any of the above authorities must be filed directly with the authority involved.

2.Local Law No. 82 of 1979 provides, in part:

“No Civil action shall be maintained against the City for damage to property or injury to person or death sustained in consequence of any street or sidewalk…being out of repair… unless it appears that written notice was actually given to the commissioner of transportation or any person or department authorized by the commissioner to receive such Notice (Department of Transportation, Canal Street Station, P.O. Box 465, New York, N.Y. 10013) or where there was previous injury to person or property as a result of the existence of the defective, unsafe, dangerous or obstructed condition, and written notice thereof was given to a city agency, or there was written acknowledgment from the City of the defective condition…..and there was a failure to neglect within fifteen days after receipt of such Notice to repair or remove the defect…..or the place otherwise made reasonable safe.


Public Employee Lawsuits vs. Private Employee Lawsuits



In every lawsuit based on a party’s “negligence“, in addition to a recovery for “pain and suffering”, the injured party is entitled to recover for the amount the injured party paid for medical costs and for the loss of future earnings. A person with such a lawsuit who is in the PRIVATE sector has any eventual award they win reduced by any reimbursement they have received, or will receive, through such vehicles as medical insurance, disability payments or disability pensions. This stands to reason: the law does not allow a windfall to the injured party by permitting “double dipping”.

This was not so with New York PUBLIC sector employees.

Until just November, 2009 any New York PUBLIC sector employee, suing any municipality or subdivision, could recover for medical costs and future earnings regardless of the fact they already received, or would receive in the future, reimbursement for those items from some other source, such as a union disability pension or fund. A true “double dipping” windfall. This situation has ended by act of the New York Sate legislature. The situation for the Public sector employee is now the same as for the Private sector employee (and likewise, for the Private sector employer and the Governmental employer) “double dipping” is over, for everyone! In this time of deep cuts in all governmental budgets, New York City alone stands to save about fifteen million dollars this year because of this new legislation. Small wonder this legislation passed almost unanimously in both houses of the New York State legislature.


Trapped on a Plane on the Tarmac: New York is the Biggest Culprit


I recently wrote an article on passengers stuck on planes on the tarmac. According to Senator Charles Schumer, over half the flights experiencing “superlong delays” (three hours or more) were headed to or from the New York area airports (JFK, LaGuardia or Newark). In June of this year this amounted to 90 of 173 flights nationwide.

Proposed Legislation
Sen. Schumer proposed a law that would require airlines to let passengers return to terminals after three hours, provide food and drinking water aboard stalled planes and keep restrooms in working order and air well ventilated.  A federal law is required because a similar New York law was struck down by the courts which ruled airline travel had to be regulated by the federal government.
Until such a law is passed, passengers should not  exclude the  possibility of a lawsuit against the offending airline. If you have been the victim of one of these airlines and their neglect make sure to contact a qualified personal injury attorney in New York.

Strip Searches

A “Strip Search,” which involves the compulsory removal of clothing pursuant to an order by some official, is a degrading and humiliating experience.  Regardless of the circumstances, this experience, in and of itself, can leave an indelible impression on the affected individual.

Most often, the issue arises when police officers are involved.  The guidelines established by the New York City Police Department would appear to treat the issue with requisite seriousness, and seem to establish certain safeguards to see that a “Strip Search” is conducted only under proper circumstances.   As is so often the regrettable case, these guidelines are either ignored or unknown  to many officers, with unfortunate results.

A recent case decided by the United States Supreme Court (Safford Unified School District v. April Redding**) declared that students may be “strip searched” by school officials “…only in the most extraordinary situations.”    The bar for valid strip searches in schools was thereby raised..

If anyone is subjected to a “Strip Search”, and if is unclear in the least to that person why he or she was subjected to that humiliating procedure, it is important to contact an experienced civil rights attorney to discuss the circumstances.  Even if you were arrested or issued a summons, the “Strip Search” itself may have been uncalled for and inapropriate, and may be the subject of a lawsuit by the victim of such a search.