Is the Seasonal Hiatus In the States Liability for Defects In Its Highways Under the Patrol System Constitutional ?
In Borden v. State of New York (113 Misc 232, 184 N.Y.S. 285), liability for an early March accident was imposed on the basis of testimony that a State patrolman was "in charge" of the area that had flooded, did work on the broken culvert "as a patrolman," and had made repairs at the point of the defect at the direction of his supervisor (id. at 237).
From this the court concluded that the road "was maintained under the patrol system at the time."
In addition, under the statute as it then existed, the court also found "no basis for the contention that there is a seasonal hiatus in the state's liability for defects in its highways under the patrol system," even if the patrolman "is not actually at work on the road because of climatic conditions" (id.).
This situation changed in 1922, when the Legislature again amended the statute, this time to preclude liability for injuries occurring between November 15 and May 1 (L 1922, c 37, 17; Wolf v. State of New York. 122 Misc 381, 202 N.Y.S. 754).