Appellate Division, Fourth Department
Late Notice of Claim
Doe v. North Tonawanda Central School District
Appealed from Supreme Court, Niagara County
Background: The claimant sought leave to serve a late notice of claim upon the respondent. The claim sought damages from the respondent for injuries sustained by claimant as the result of sexual abuse by a male teacher employed by the respondent. The court had granted leave and the respondent appealed.
Ruling: The appellate division held that the court did not err in granting the claimant’s application. The appellate division found that the claimant had a reasonable excuse for her delay in serving the claim as the claimant was only seven or eight years old at the time of the alleged abuse. In addition, the legal guardians of the claimant had refused to initiate a claim on her behalf at the time. Finally, the claimant had initiated the claim the day after her 18th birthday. Finally, the teacher in question had been prosecuted for his conduct, thereby giving the respondent notice of the essential facts underlying the claim.
Julia M. Hilliker of Hodgson Russ LLP for the respondent-appellant; Christopher J. O’Brien of O’Brien Boyd PC for the claimant-respondent