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Page v. City of Niagara Falls

Appellate Division of the Supreme Court of New York, Fourth Department
Nov 13, 2000
716 N.Y.S.2d 173 (N.Y. App. Div. 2000)

Opinion

November 13, 2000.

Appeal from Order of Supreme Court, Niagara County, Joslin, J. — Renewal.

PRESENT: GREEN, J. P., WISNER, HURLBUTT, SCUDDER AND KEHOE, JJ.


Order unanimously modified on the law and as modified affirmed without costs in accordance with the following Memorandum:

Plaintiff appeals from an order granting his motion to renew and, upon renewal, adhering to a prior order granting the motion of the City of Niagara Falls (City), the Niagara Falls Fire Department and the Chief of Niagara Falls Fire Department (defendants) to dismiss the complaint. Supreme Court properly denied that part of plaintiff's motion with respect to the second cause of action. Plaintiff alleges therein that the City did not allocate sufficient resources for its fire department. The City's decision concerning the allocation of those resources "does not provide a proper predicate for tort liability against the City" ( Balsam v. Delma Eng'g Corp., 90 N.Y.2d 966, 968; see, Mastroianni v. County of Suffolk, 91 N.Y.2d 198, 203; Kircher v. City of Jamestown, 74 N.Y.2d 251, 256).

The court erred, however, in denying plaintiff's motion with respect to the first cause of action. Plaintiff alleges therein that defendants had a special relationship with plaintiff and that he sustained damages based on their deliberate and/or reckless indifference in failing to respond in a timely fashion to the fire at his property and in failing to control the fire in an effective manner. Defendants sought dismissal for failure to state a cause of action pursuant to CPLR 3211 (a) (7). Contrary to defendants' contention, we conclude that the complaint, read together with the affidavits submitted by plaintiff ( see, Guggenheimer v. Ginzburg, 43 N.Y.2d 268, 275), sufficiently alleges the existence of a special relationship between plaintiff and defendants. That relationship is based on the assumption of an affirmative duty to act on plaintiff's behalf by responding to the 911 call; the undisputed knowledge that inaction on defendants' part could result in harm to plaintiff; the direct contact between defendants' agents and plaintiff through the 911 telephone call placed by plaintiff's daughter; and plaintiff's justifiable reliance on defendants' affirmative undertaking ( see, Cuffy v. City of New York, 69 N.Y.2d 255, 260).

We reject defendants' contention that the complaint was subject to dismissal based on plaintiff's alleged failure to comply with General Municipal Law § 50-h. Plaintiff requested and received two adjournments for his examination "beyond the ninety day period" from service of the demand for examination, and the City failed to reschedule the hearing as required by General Municipal Law § 50-h (5). Thus, plaintiff was entitled to commence this action before an examination was conducted ( see, General Municipal Law § 50-h; Ramos v. New York City Hous. Auth., 256 A.D.2d 195; Ruiz v. New York City Hous. Auth., 216 A.D.2d 258).

We modify the order, therefore, by granting plaintiff's motion in part and reinstating the first cause of action.


Summaries of

Page v. City of Niagara Falls

Appellate Division of the Supreme Court of New York, Fourth Department
Nov 13, 2000
716 N.Y.S.2d 173 (N.Y. App. Div. 2000)
Case details for

Page v. City of Niagara Falls

Case Details

Full title:JAMES PAGE, INDIVIDUALLY AND D/B/A PAGE'S AUTOMOTIVE AUTO WRECKING…

Court:Appellate Division of the Supreme Court of New York, Fourth Department

Date published: Nov 13, 2000

Citations

716 N.Y.S.2d 173 (N.Y. App. Div. 2000)
716 N.Y.S.2d 173

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