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Ignorance of the Tort Claims Act Will Not Excuse Late Notice (NJ)

April 20, 2016

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In a recent decision, the New Jersey Appellate Court clarified that the requirements of the New Jersey Torts Claims Act, which governs claims against a public entity, cannot be relaxed due to a plaintiff’s lack of awareness of the statute.  In <em><a href="http://www.judiciary.state.nj.us/opinions/a2843-14.pdf">Friday v. New Jersey Transit</a>,</em> the plaintiff was allegedly injured when she fell on ice near the Brick Train Station.  Even though the plaintiff knew she was injured due to the fault of New Jersey Transit on the date that the accident occurred, she failed to file a timely notice of claim within ninety (90) days as required under the statute. One year later, the plaintiff moved for leave to file a notice of late claim, stating that she was not aware of the requirement to file a notice of claim, and was focused on medical treatment for her  torn rotator cuff.  The Appellate Court confirmed the trial court’s denial of plaintiff’s motion for leave, noting that plaintiff did not establish “exceptional circumstances” which would warrant the late filing of a notice of claim.
Thanks to Heather Aquino for her contribution to this post.
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