Petition For Leave To Serve Late Notice of Claim On Local Municipality Denied With Prejudice As “Patently Meritless”

Webster Szanyi associate Peter Veech successfully opposed a minor claimant’s petition seeking leave to serve late notice of claim on a local municipality arising out of a 2018 motor vehicle accident. The petition was served 1 year, 9 months, and 25 days after the minor’s claim accrued. In addition to demonstrating: (1) the municipality did not gain actual knowledge of the essential facts constituting the claim within 90 days of its accrual or within a reasonable time thereafter; (2) the municipality was substantially prejudiced in maintaining its defense on the merits due to petitioner’s failure to timely serve a notice of claim; and (3) the absence of a reasonable excuse for the delay, Mr. Veech further demonstrated that the proposed claim was “patently meritless” by submitting evidence showing that the municipality did not own, control, or maintain the roadway at issue. As such, the court held that it would be an abuse of discretion to grant the petition.