Terri J. Frank


In 1979, New York City enacted a local law requiring prior written notice of a defect before the city may be found liable for injuries resulting from potholes. But a prior written notice statute interferes with the traditional negligence doctrine of constructive notice. This Note examines traditional common law negligence as it relates to municipal liability. The procedural requirements and legislative history of the Pothole Law are analyzed. In addition, the legal and policy considerations surrounding its enactment are discussed. This Note recommends an alternative solution to the statute which takes into account both the procedural inequities of the law and the city's financial problems. A balance must be struck between the rights of injured parties and the need of the city to have a reasonable opportunity to effect repairs.

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