The State University of New York, being a State agency, does not carry liability insurance.
However, a procedure has been developed for handling small claims. The procedure involves:
- A claim and Release Form to be completed by the claimant, (4 copies of each form needs
to be filled out and notarized for claims less than $250.00; and 5 copies of each
form needs to be filled out and notarized for claims more than $250.00) detailing
the nature of the claim;
- An investigation and sworn statement by the College President or his/her designee,
after which it is sent to the University Counsel's Office in Albany for processing.
If a claim is rejected, it does not preclude a person from seeking legal redress by
filing a claim in the Court of Claims for recovery of damages. In either case, payment
will be based upon negligence, if any, on the part of the College or College employee.
The damage should not be caused by "an act of God" or other accidental occurrence
which does not involve fault or breach of duty by a State officer or employee. The
individual causing the damage should be an officer or employee of the State of New
York, not an independent contractor. The State is not obligated to pay replacement
value for damaged personal property (with the exception of jewelry and other special
items such as antiques) and the Attorney General will disapprove any small claim that
does not reflect a reasonable amount of depreciation. When processing small claims
for the cost of repairing damaged property such as automobiles, the Attorney General
requires two estimates for repairs.
The small claim procedure permits recovery for damages up to the sum of $5,000.00.
The Court of Claims Act requires filing of a claim or notice of intention to file
a claim against the State within 90 days after the incident. Claim and release notices
may be obtained from Management Services located in the Kehoe building, 518-564-2539.
Note: This small claim procedure may be used only by claimants age 18 or older. Persons
under age 18 may sue the State in the Court of Claims, in accordance with the procedure
of the Court of Claims Act.