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Sandak v. Tuxedo Union School Dist. No. 3 – Case Brief Summary (New York)

In Sandak v. Tuxedo Union School Dist. No. 3 (308 NY 226, 124 NE2d 295 [1954]), the minor plaintiff sought to recover damages for personal injuries sustained while participating in activities in the school's gymnasium under the supervision of several employee teachers (308 NY at 228).

There were two causes of action initiated: one against the school district and one against the individual teachers.

The claim against the teachers was the only one challenged, and thus the only issue decided by the Court of Appeals.

The Court began its analysis by examining the language of section 50-e, as it was then written (Sandak, 308 NY at 230). "Historically, the notice of claim concept has always applied only to public corporations," noting that the statute "says nothing about service on the negligent employee or appointee of a public corporation" (Sandak, 308 NY at 230).

The Court found no requirement of service on an individual defendant, even under the old language mandating service:

"on the party against whom the claim is made . . . by delivering the notice, or a copy thereof, personally, or by registered mail, to the person, officer, agent, clerk or employee, designated by law as a person to whom a summons in an action in the supreme court issued against such party may be delivered" (Sandak, 308 NY at 230, quoting former General Municipal Law § 50-e 3).