Suing the City of New York for Injuries

If you suffered an injury caused by the negligence of another party, you can file a personal injury lawsuit against the liable individual or entity. But what if the injury was caused by the government’s negligence? Is it possible to sue the city of New York?

Fortunately, the answer is yes.

The New York Court of Appeals ruled in 2011 that people may sue local governments in New York only if they can prove that the municipality had a “special duty” to the injured party. In order to prove such a duty, the injured party must demonstrate that the municipality or an employee committed a violation of a statutory duty to protect a specific class of individuals, assumed “positive direction and control” in the face of a “known, blatant, and dangerous” safety violation, or voluntarily took on a duty and communicated as much by actions or promises to the injured individual, who depended on those actions or promises.

The City of New York can be sued for the following types of cases:

  • Car accidents - If a city employee drives carelessly or recklessly while on government business and he/she ends up causing a collision, the victim can hold the driver liable in the Court of Claims.
  • Defective conditions on government property - From poor lighting to ruptured flooring, if a dangerous or defective property condition exists in a public building and city employees fail to repair it or warn patrons within a reasonable time, an individual who suffers an injury by the condition can hold the government accountable for negligence.
  • Medical malpractice - Patients who are injured while receiving medical care from a city-run facility can file a medical negligence lawsuit against the government.
  • Police misconduct and negligence - If local police inflicted unreasonable and unnecessary physical force that resulted in a person suffering serious injury, they can be sued for negligence.
  • School district negligence - According to municipal liability districts and the New York City Board of Education are liable for injuries suffered in the schoolyard or in the school building due to improperly maintained school grounds, or even due to physical or sexual abuse inflicted by school employees.

The New York City Comptroller’s Office is in charge of overseeing the resolution of claims filed against the City of New York. Claims generally must be filed with the City within 90 days of the date of the incident in question. After a claim is received, the Comptroller’s Office will investigate the claim and perhaps may offer a settlement based on the investigation results.

If you are interested in suing the City of New York after a suffering an injury caused by government negligence, request a free consultation with our NYC personal injury attorneys at Lurie, Ilchert, MacDonnell & Ryan LLP today.

Categories: Personal Injury