The Third Department, reversing Supreme Court, determined no notice of claim was required for decedent’s son’s action against the Rensselaer County Commissioner of Social Services and there was a question of fact whether the transfer of decedent’s assets to decedent’s son was in anticipation of nursing home costs. The action against the county sounded in contract, not tort, and therefore there was no “notice of claim” requirement. It was not clear whether decedent’s need for nursing-home care was anticipated and whether there were reasons for the transfer of assets at less than market value unrelated to Medicaid planning. The county was seeking $178,084,47 for decedent’s nursing-home care, the alleged fair market value of the assets transferred to decedent’s son during the 60-month Medicaid look-back period:
… County Law § 52 — indisputably still rooted in tort-like claims — does not extend so far as to encompass claims that are contractual in nature … . * * *
Mindful that this is a plenary action, rather than a proceeding in which our review of an administrative determination is circumscribed, the Commissioner’s own submissions raise material issues of fact as to whether the subject transfers, or some portion thereof, were exclusively for a purpose other than Medicaid planning, necessitating denial of her motion regardless of the sufficiency of the opposing papers … . RSRNC, LLC v Wilson, 2023 NY Slip Op 05432, Third Dept 10-26-23
Practice Point: Actions against a county which are based in contract, not tort, do not trigger the notice-of-claim requirement.
Practice Point: Transfers of assets for less than market value are not necessarily subject to the 60-month look-back for Medicaid nursing-home-costs reimbursement. Here there were questions of fact whether nursing-home care was anticipated at the time of the transfer and whether the transfer was made for legitimate purposes unrelated to Medicaid planning.