TO SEARCH this database type in a key word or phrase in the box in the upper left and any material containing the word or phrase will be displayed for your review.

State of New York vs. COVID-19 - Governor Andrew M. Cuomo periodically updates New Yorkers on the state's progress during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. The latest reports of the number of new cases, the percentage of tests that were positive and many other relevant data points concerning COVID-19 are available at

N.B. §22 of the New York State's General Construction Law, in pertinent part, provides that “Whenever words of the masculine or feminine gender appear in any law, rule or regulation, unless the sense of the sentence indicates otherwise, they shall be deemed to refer to both male or female persons.” NYPPL applies this protocol to individuals referred to in a decision self-identifying as LGBTQA+.

June 29, 2012

Municipality may have voluntarily assumed a special duty to an injured employee based on "justifiable reliance"

Municipality may have voluntarily assumed a special duty to an injured employee based on "justifiable reliance" 
Morgan-Word v New York City Dept. of Educ., 2012 NY Slip Op 05151, Appellate Division, Second Department

Assistant Principal Rolanda Morgan-Word alleged that she was injured while attempting to break up a fight between two students at a school. Supreme Court denied the New York City Department of Education’s motion for summary judgment dismissing the complaint and the Department appealed.

The Appellate Division affirmed the lower court’s ruling, explaining that although a municipality "is immune from negligence claims arising out of the performance of its governmental functions unless the injured person establishes a special relationship with the municipality which would create a special duty of protection with respect to that individual," a special relationship may be formed "when a municipality voluntarily assumes a special duty that generates justifiable reliance by the person who benefits from the duty."

In order to demonstrate such a special duty, a plaintiff must show: "(1) an assumption by the municipality, through promises or actions, of an affirmative duty to act on behalf of the party who was injured, (2) knowledge on the part of the municipality's agents that inaction could lead to harm, (3) some form of direct contact between the municipality's agents and the injured party, and (4) the injured party's justifiable reliance on the municipality's affirmative undertaking."

In this instance, said the court, the Department failed to establish its prima facie entitlement to judgment as a matter of law, because it "failed to eliminate triable issues of fact" as to whether it assumed a special duty with respect to Morgan-Word.

Accordingly, the Appellate Division ruled that Supreme Court properly denied its motion for summary judgment.

The decision is posted on the Internet at:

Public Personnel Law E-books

The Discipline Book - A concise guide to disciplinary actions involving public employees in New York State set out in a 700 page e-book. For more information click on

A Reasonable Disciplinary Penalty Under the Circumstances - A 442-page e-book focusing on determining an appropriate disciplinary penalty to be imposed on an employee in the public service in instances where the employee has been found guilty of misconduct or incompetence. Now available in two formats - as a large, paperback print edition and as an e-book. Click on for more information.

The Layoff, Preferred List and Reinstatement Manual - A 645 page e-book reviewing the relevant laws, rules and regulations, and selected court and administrative decisions. For more information click on

Disability Leave for fire, police and other public sector personnel - A 1098 page e-book focusing on disability benefits available to public officers and employees employed by New York State and its political subdivisions. For more information click on