CONTRACTORS MUST BE AWARE OF STATUTORY NOTICE OF CLAIM PROVISIONS
In March 2023, an appellate court in New York dismissed a contractor’s complaint against a town for failing to timely file a verified notice of claim under a local town law. Accadia Site Contracting, Inc. v. Town of Pendelton, 2023 NY Slip Op 01386 (4th Dept. 2023).
In Accadia, a contractor sued a town seeking to recover payment it claimed was due for highway repair work. The town moved to dismiss the complaint, claiming that the contractor had failed to timely file a notice of claim under a local town law that required that prior to filing a lawsuit one had to be filed within six months of accrual of a cause of action. In dismissing the contractor’s lawsuit, the court held that the contractor should have filed the notice of claim within six months of rejection of its payment request by the town. The court also noted that the local town law did not contain any provision allowing a court to excuse non-compliance with its requirements.
When performing work for any town, village, municipality, school district, housing or any other public agency within the State of New York, a contractor must be aware of the various local laws, ordinances and/or statutes governing the filing of notices of claims as a condition precedent to filing a lawsuit. It is well settled under New York law that failing to comply with a statutory or contractual notice of claim will most likely result in the dismissal of your complaint, regardless of the merit of your claims for non-payment.
About the author: George Marco is an attorney practicing in the field of construction law. He also holds a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering and was previously employed as a Project Manager for a public improvement contractor.
Disclaimer: This article is for informational purposes only and not intended to serve as legal counsel.