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New York State Court of Claims

New York State Court of Claims
SPIESS v. STATE OF NEW YORK (1), # 2021-032-062, Claim No. 134301, Motion No. M-95379


Case information

UID: 2021-032-062
Claimant short name: SPIESS
Footnote (claimant name) :
Defendant(s): STATE OF NEW YORK(1)
Footnote (defendant name) :
Third-party claimant(s):
Third-party defendant(s):
Claim number(s): 134301
Motion number(s): M-95379
Cross-motion number(s):
Claimant's attorney: NO APPEARANCE
Defendant's attorney: Hon. Letitia James, Attorney General
By: Lawrence E. Kozar, AAG
Third-party defendant's attorney:
Signature date: June 29, 2021
City: Albany
Official citation:
Appellate results:
See also (multicaptioned case)


The instant claim was filed on January 14, 2020 seeking damages for injuries sustained while claimant Christopher Spiess, an ironworker, was working on a project located at the NYCDOT Riverside Viaduct, located at 155th Street and Riverside Drive in Manhattan.(2) Defendant moves to dismiss the claim on the ground that the State of New York does not own, operate, or maintain the location alleged in the claim. Claimants have not submitted opposition to the motion.

In support of its motion, defendant submits the New York City Department of Transportation's (NYCDOT) website pages identifying the Riverside Drive Viaduct rehabilitation project as a NYCDOT project (Exhibit B); the NYCDOT proposal for bids for Contract No. HBM1165, the Rehabilitation of Riverside Drive Viaduct (Exhibit C); and the Bridge Identification sheet reflecting the City of New York as the owner of Bridge 2246720 (the Riverside Viaduct) (Exhibit D).

It is well-settled that the Court of Claims lacks jurisdiction over the City of New York and its agencies and employees (DeSouza v Support Collection Unit, Child Support, UID No. 2012-040-087 [Ct Cl, McCarthy, J., Oct. 25, 2012]; Lyons v State of New York, UID No. 2004-030-904 [Ct Cl, Scuccimarra, J., Feb. 18, 2004]).(3) As defendant's submission establishes that the City of New York, not the State, owns the location of the accident and is responsible for the construction project occurring at that location, the Court lacks jurisdiction over the claim. Claimants have not submitted any opposition to refute defendant's submission.

Based upon the foregoing, defendant's motion to dismiss the claim (M-95379) is granted. Claim number 134301 is dismissed.

June 29, 2021

Albany, New York


Judge of the Court of Claims

Papers Considered:

1. Notice of Motion, dated March 5, 2020; and Affirmation in Support, affirmed by Lawrence E. Kozar, AAG on March 5, 2020 with Exhibits A through D annexed thereto.


The Court amends the caption sua sponte to reflect the only properly named defendant.

2. Claimant Dina Spiess's claim is derivative in nature.

3. Unpublished decisions and selected orders of the Court of Claims are available at http://www.nyscourtofclaims.state.ny.us.