Albany and New York State Governmental Liability Lawyers | Suing the City of Albany, New York & Suing the state of New York

Albany Federal Tort Claims Act Attorneys and Albany New York Court of Claims Act Attorneys

Justice sometimes means holding the state or federal government liable. Contact an Albany Governmental Liability lawyer today if you  have been injured by a government property, action, or worker.


New York Court of Claims Act Lawyers - Government Liability Lawyers Serving Albany Residents Injured by the State or Municipal Government

An old Latin adage states, "Rex non potest peccare," or, in English, "The King can do no wrong." This saying expresses the Old World notion that the ruling class was essentially immune from any liability and could reign as they wished, breaking any laws they saw fit. In fact, at English common law, it was impossible to sue the Sovereign or King for redress. Since every state in the United States - with the notable exception of Louisiana - adopted the English common law, it was also historically impossible for an American citizen to sue a state government. Modern society has changed laws too better reflect a democratic society, and now states can be sued under some circumstances.

The laws dictating what the government can be sued for and how are extremely complicated. There are different laws depending on whether the Federal, State or Local governments are being sued. The basic premise of the New York laws are that no part of the government and no one working for the government can be sued for anything done within the discretion of their job. This eliminates many possible types of lawsuits, but leaves room for possibilities when Governments or Government officials fail to enforce your rights. These types of cases involve the operational functions of government.

Read New York's main law concerning New York Governmental Liability on our New York Court of Claims Act page.


The laws dictating what the government can be sued for and how are extremely complicated. There are different laws depending on whether the Federal, State or Local governments are being sued. The basic premise of the New York laws are that you can sue the government when a government employee does something that you would be able to sue a private person for. 

In order to recover for personal injuries in the Court of Claims, NOTICE MUST BE GIVEN WITHIN 90 DAYS. New York's Court of Claims Act includes also a two-year statute of limitations on your claim and many other unique provisions. Only a qualified Albany, New York governmental Liability lawyer can tell you how these laws fit your situation. Governmental liability laws often come with complicated requirements for quickly giving the government notice of the suit. You should contact an Albany Governmental Liability lawyer as soon as possible if anything done by any government or person working for the government has caused you injury.

All claims against the State of New York are handled in the New York Court of Claims which primarily exists:

To hear and determine a claim of any person, corporation or municipality against the state for the appropriation of any real or personal property or any interest therein, for the breach of contract, express or implied, or for the torts of its officers or employees while acting as such officers or employees, providing the claimant complies with the limitations of this article. (§ 9. Jurisdiction and powers of the court.)

Some situations that often lead to Governmental Liability include:

  • Slip and fall cases
  • Broken elevators and escalators
  • Ferry or boat related accidents
  • Fire Damage
  • Wrongful Eviction
  • Contractual Disputes
  • Wrongful Acts
  • Errors and Omissions
  • Malicious Prosecution
  • Professional Liability
  • Garage Liability
  • Foster Parent Liability
  • Wrongful Entry

 ThebvvGovernmental Liability for Civil Rights Violations

New York's State, County and City governments can be held liable under certain circumstances for civil rights violations. Some types of violations that may cause governmental liability include:

  • Discrimination
  • Harassment
  • Retaliation for reporting discrimination
  • False Arrest
  • Illegal Imprisonment
  • Illegal Detention

Federal Tort Claims Act Lawyer - Serving New York Residents Injured by the Federal Government

Just like New York, the Federal Government traditionally enjoyed sovereign immunity, and therefore those injured by actions of the federal government could not sue to recover damages. However, the federal government was the largest employer in the United States and many injured employees of the federal government needed compensation for their injuries. In addition, many people not employed by the federal government were also being injured by it and they too needed compensation. For example, if a federal government employee was negligently driving a car and injured an Albany resident, that person would likely need to seek damages from the federal government to compensate them for their injuries. This is just one example of a myriad of ways in which the issue of federal government liability arose over the years. It became clear that sovereign immunity had become outmoded, and, in 1946, Congress passed the Federal Tort Claims Act (FTCA).

Please Note: The FTCA differs from New York law, but works the same way no matter what state you sue in.

           (1) Prior to filing suit under the FTCA, a claimant must present his claim to the federal agency out of whose activities the claim arises. 28 U.S.C. Sec. 2675; 
           (2) This must be done within two years after the claim accrues. 28 U.S.C. Sec. 2401.14;
           (3) If, within six months after receiving a claim, the agency mails a denial of the claim to the claimant, then the claimant has six months to file suit in federal district court. 28 U.S.C. Sections 2401, 2675;
          (4) No period of limitations applies to a plaintiff if the agency fails to act within six months after receiving his claim;
           (5) Suits under the FTCA are tried without a jury. 28 U.S.C. Section 2402;
           (6) An agency may not settle a claim for more than $25,000 without the prior written approval of the Attorney General or his designee;
           (7) United States attorneys are authorized to settle claims in amounts up to $1 million;
           (8) Attorneys who represent claimants under the FTCA may not charge claimants more than 25 percent of a court award or a settlement made by the Attorney General or his designee after suit is filed, or more than 20 percent of a settlement made by the agency with whom a claim is filed. 28 U.S.C. Section 2678; and
           (9) A court may not order the United States to pay a claimant's attorneys' fees unless the court finds the United States to have acted in bad faith. 28 U.S.C. Sec. 2412(b).

Exceptions to the FTCA

There are three (3) main exceptions to the FTCA. They are:
        (1) The Feres doctrine. This doctrine prohibits lawsuits by military personnel for injuries sustained "incident to service";
        (2) The discretionary function exception; and
        (3) The intentional tort exception.

The FTCA applies to many government employees that are injured. For example, postal workers in Albany are often injured and seek the help and advice of Albany Postal Service injury lawyers. A variety of other government employees and private residents of the Greater Albany Area may also be injured by actions of either the federal, state, or municipal government. If you, or a loved one, has suffered an injury due to the negligence of the government, or while on the job as a government employee, call one of the Albany governmental liability lawyers on this page for a consultation. 

Read the full text of the Federal Tort Claims Act


Contact an Albany Governmental Liability Attorney today to sue Albany, Albany County or the State of New York.

Serving clients throughout Eastern New York, including Albany, Colonie, Delmar, East Greenbush, Glenmont, Green Island, Hampton Manor, Latham, Loudonville, Menands, Roessleville, Troy, Watervliet, West Sand Lake, Westmere, Wynantskill, areas in the vicinity of Albany International Airport, and other communities in Albany County.