A New Jersey Appellate Division Court Ruled on May 21, 2009 that a Title 59 Notice filed in 1995 sufficiently complied with the requirements of the Title 59 Act, even though the actual lawsuit was not filed until 2004. The facts of this case are as follows. While walking home from elementary school in Camden, New Jersey, on March 8, 1995, a nine year old student was struck by a car. She suffered substantial injuries including a broken ankle. On the day of the pedestrian accident in New Jersey, the student was attending an after school reading program. She was released from the after school program before 4:00 p.m. No crossing guards were on duty at the time of her release. While crossing an intersection on her way home she was struck by a motor vehicle.
New Jersey law requires that Notice must be provided to potential defendants within 90 days of an accident if the defendant is a public entity. In this case, the Camden City Board of Education was a potential defendant for not having a crossing guard at the intersection where the New Jersey pedestrian accident took place. The Camden City Board of Education was put on notice of this claim on April 4, 1995, within ninety days.
Following the filing of the plaintiff’s 2004 lawsuit, a summary judgment motion was filed by attorneys for the Camden City Board of Education. The motion asserted that the Title 59 Notice filed in April of 1995 was deficient in that it did not spell out all theories of negligence that were contained in the 2004 lawsuit. The Appellate Division Court determined that the plaintiff substantially complied with the Title 59 requirements, “…substantial compliance means that the notice has been given in a way, which though technically defective, substantially satisfies the purpose for which notices of claims are required.” Lamiero v. W. N.Y. Bd. Of Educ.,136 N.J. Super. 585,588. This Appellate Division Court ruled in favor of the plaintiff and determined that the original Notice filed back in 1995 was sufficient.