”Pothole Law” New York City

Administrative Code § 7-201 ("§ 7-201"), also known as the "pothole law," provides that an action for damages arising out of a defective street or sidewalk cannot be maintained unless the City had prior written notice of the defect, and failure to plead and prove prior written notice requires a dismissal of the complaint against the City (Longo v. American Golf Co. 256 Ad2d 387, 681 N.Y.S.2d 589 [1st Dept 1999]).

It has been specifically held in Montalvo v. City of New York 46 AD3d 772, 848 N.Y.S.2d 330 (2d Dept 2007) that the prior written notice requirement of § 7-201 applies to lawsuits brought by police officers pursuant to GML § 205-e. Therefore, a threshold matter for the plaintiff police officer to maintain a GML § 205-e action against the City for an injury resulting from a defective roadway is to show that the City had prior written notice of the defect.