Injury Case May Help Hold Local Municipalities More Accountable

Thinking Big: Attorney Philip Mazzotti discusses how one of our firm’s injury cases may make it easier for individuals to file injury claims against local municipalities in the future.

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One of the more difficult cases that I’ve worked on here, at Harding Mazzotti, was a case against a local municipality. And what happened in this case was our client was on a motorcycle and hit this gigantic pothole that actually spanned the entire width of a lane. It was about 17 feet wide by 19 feet long. And what happens against municipalities is they need to have something called notice.

And if they don’t have notice, and someone gets hurt, then you’re unable to file a claim against them. However, in this case, this program called See Click Fix is used in this local municipality. And what they are saying is, “Hey, even though we had noticed through See Click Fix, it doesn’t give us proper notice.” And we made a motion for summary judgment based on that. And what we got back from the Supreme Court judge was the fact that we were right.

However, the local municipality didn’t like that answer. So they are actually currently appealing this, which, if the third department appellate division upholds this decision, using a similar program like See Click Fix across the third department, will be seen as notice and could change the law for everyone that are reporting issues, or problems within local municipalities.

It would hold the local municipalities more accountable for the notices that they do receive, and really hold their feet to the fire, and actually fix any potholes, or any other issues, even on the sidewalks, or ice, or snow, anything that is going on in that area at that time. So it’s something to look forward to, at least on our end. And we will gladly report back more.

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