Friday, September 5, 2014

Whistleblower suits and notices of claim.

Practice point:  A party bringing a whistleblower claim, and seeking both legal and equitable remedies, must file a notice of claim pursuant to General Municipal Law §§ 50-e, 50-i, even though the Whistleblower Statute is not a tort statute and technically does not fall within the categories described in General Municipal Law § 50-i.  However, a plaintiff whose claim falls under the jurisdiction of General Municipal Law § 50-e, or other narrow statutory notice requirements, may pursue an equitable claim, including one for reinstatement, absent the notice of claim.

Student note: The Whistleblower Law forbids retaliatory personnel action by public employers against their employees who disclose to a governmental body information regarding violations of regulations that would present a specific danger to public health or safety, or about what the employee believes to be an improper governmental action, pursuant to Civil Service Law § 75-b[1][d]; [2][a]. A whistleblower claim may seek both monetary damages and equitable relief, including an injunction to restrain continued violation of the law; reinstatement to the same or equivalent position as before, with full fringe benefits and seniority rights; compensation for lost wages, benefits and other remuneration; and reasonable costs, disbursements and attorney's fees, pursuant to Civil Service Law § 75-b[3][c], referencing Labor Law § 740[5].

Case:  Rose v New York City Health & Hosps. Corp., NY Slip Op 06013 (1st Dept. 2014)

Here is the decision.

Monday's issue: The plaintiff's identifying the cause of the fall.