The Second Department, in affirming the dismissal of a lawsuit against a municipality based upon the exercise of a governmental function, explained the relevant law:
A municipal entity “is not liable for the negligent performance of a governmental function unless there existed a special duty to the injured person, in contrast to a general duty owed to the public'” … . The plaintiff must first establish the existence of a special duty owed to it by the entity before it becomes necessary to address whether the entity can rely upon the defense of governmental immunity … . A special duty arises when there is a duty to exercise reasonable care toward the plaintiff as a result of a special relationship between the plaintiff and the governmental entity … . When a municipality assumes an affirmative duty to act on behalf of a specific party, and that party justifiably relies to its detriment on the direct assurances of the municipality’s agents, a special duty arises … .
The defendants established their prima facie entitlement to judgment as a matter of law by demonstrating that they did not owe a special duty to the plaintiff. In opposition, the plaintiff failed to raise a triable issue of fact … . Richline Group Inc v City of Mount Vernon, 2014 NY Slip Op 04184, 2nd Dept 6-11-14