Late Notice of Claim | New Jersey Torts | Personal Injury
36-2-4170 Bass v. County of Middlesex, App. Div. (per curiam) (9 pp.)
Submitted by New Jersey Personal Injury Attorney, Jeffrey Hark
Plaintiff Dion Bass appeals from the Law Division’s order that denied his motion for leave to file a late notice of claim pursuant to the New Jersey Tort Claims Act (TCA), against defendant, the County of Middlesex.
Slip and Fall on DOT Metal Plate
On December 19, 2012, plaintiff tripped and fell over a metal cover on the side walk along Oak Tree Road in South Plainfield. The cover bore an embossed stamp, “DOT,” in the metal. Plaintiff served a timely notice of claim upon the State of New Jersey. Plaintiff contends that he reasonably identified the metal cover as one belonging to the State Department of Transportation, since it was embossed with the acronym “DOT.” He claims, however, that “finger-pointing” by first the State, and then the JIF, misled him into believing he had served all necessary public entities and justified allowing him to file a late notice of claim against defendant.
Defendant filed a certification from the supervisor of its Roads Department stating that signs clearly indicated the road was a county road. Attached were photos of road signs that included the numerical designation of the road as a county road. The appellate panel rejects plaintiff’s claim that the responses of the State or the JIF misled him into believing he had served all potentially liable public entities with the required notice under the TCA. Plaintiff failed to demonstrate “extraordinary circumstances” justifying the filing of a late notice of claim, and the judge appropriately denied plaintiff’s motion.