Greene v. Utah Transit Authority
In Greene v. Utah Transit Authority, 2001 UT 109, 37 P.3d 1156, the Court refused to create an exception to the strict compliance rule where a claims adjuster employed by a state entity allegedly misdirected the plaintiff as to where to send the requisite notice.
Though the Court expressed concern about the "intentionally misleading behavior" alleged by the plaintiff, id. the Court nevertheless affirmed the dismissal of the case:
"Even assuming the claims adjuster made the statements the plaintiff alleges he made, his delivery instructions cannot override the requirements set by the legislature. Because the plaintiff failed to strictly comply with the Immunity Act, the district court lacked subject matter jurisdiction over her claim." Id.
The Court stated:
"With the 1998 amendment to the Immunity Act, the legislature has left little open to interpretation and has resolved any potential ambiguities as to whom the Notice must be delivered . . . . Where, as here, the statute is clear, readily available, and easily accessible by counsel, there is no reason to require anything less than strict compliance." Id.
The Court ruled that the legislature's amendment only further bolstered the strict compliance standard and, therefore, affirmed the trial court's dismissal of a complaint where the plaintiff filed notice of claim with the Utah Transit Authority's claims adjuster rather than its president or secretary as required by the Act.
The Court stated:
"With the 1998 amendment, the legislature has left little open to interpretation and has resolved any potential ambiguities as to whom the Notice must be delivered. This move to clarify the delivery requirements of the Immunity Act reinforces the rule of strict compliance with the statute." Id.