In an Article 78 proceeding, the former City Attorney for the City of Glen Cove sought to annul a resolution that terminated/suspended Petitioner’s retirement health insurance benefits or to estop the City from terminating said benefits. By Judgment entered November 14, 2019, the Supreme Court denied the petition and dismissed the proceeding (“Judgment”). Petitioner appealed the Judgment to the Appellate Division, Second Department.
On appeal, Petitioner argued that the City of Glen Cove should be estopped from terminating his post-retirement health insurance benefits in that he relied, to his detriment, on advice he received from the City’s Director of Personal concerning the City’s alleged promise to continually pay his health insurance premiums notwithstanding the City’s adoption of a resolution that terminated/suspended the payment of said benefits to Petitioner and several other City employees. In opposition, Berkman Henoch argued, among other things, that the doctrine of estoppel cannot be invoked against a government entity.
In affirming the Judgment, the Appellate Division relied on several cases cited to by Berkman Henoch and observed that “contrary to the petitioner’s contention, he failed to establish that the City should be equitably estopped from terminating his insurance. As a general rule, estoppel may not be invoked against a government body with regard to the exercise to its governmental functions or its correction of an administrative error . . . [Moreover] . . . the petitioner failed to establish that this matter falls within the narrow exception warranting estoppel against a government body.”
The City of Glen Cove was represented by Joseph E. Macy, Esq. and Nicholas S. Tuffarelli, Esq. – members of Berkman Henoch’s Litigation Department.
Copies of Supreme Court’s Judgment and the Decision and Order of the Appellate Division:
Order Of Second Department Affirming