Yollin v. Glendale – 8/5/2008

August 12, 2008

Arizona Court of Appeals Division One Holds that Arizona’s Notice of Claim Statute is Satisfied When a Claimant Provides the Government with a Definite and Exact Amount for Which the Government’s Liability can be Satisfied and an Explanation of How Past Events Have Harmed the Claimant.

Yollin filed a notice of claim against Glendale, alleging that he suffered personal injury after slipping on fluid that a City of Glendale vehicle allegedly left on a sidewalk.  Yollin ‘s notice of claim, which was two pages in length, demanded a specific sum of $150,000 to settle his claim and attached nearly one hundred pages of medical records.  The trial court dismissed Yollin’s claim on grounds that Yollin failed to satisfy A.R.S. § 12-821.01(A) by not including a sum of certain demands nor sufficient facts to support the amount claimed.  This appeal followed.

Arizona’s notice of claim statute requires that “[t]he claim shall also contain a specific amount for which the claim can be settled and the facts supporting that amount.”  The Arizona Appeals Court first explained that “[a]s the long as the claimant states a definite and exact amount, and the government may completely satisfy its liability by paying that sum, the claim letter satisfies the sum certain requirement.”  Yollin satisfied this requirement by specifically requesting $150,000 and noting that he would fully release the City for that amount.  The $150,000 demand passed muster despite that Yollin stated that he was making the offer in order to comply with the notice of claim statute.  TheAppeals Court next explained that the notice of claim statute requires only “a recitation of how past events harmed the claimant and led to his offer.”  Yollin’s demand letter satisfied this requirement by explaining the nature and circumstances of his injury and disclosing his medical records. 

Judge Kessler authored the opinion; Judges Orozco and Portley joined.