New York State Court of Claims

New York State Court of Claims

SANTANA v. THE STATE OF NEW YORK, #2000-007-510, Claim No. 98705


Claimant asserts that the Department of Correctional Services has deprived him of appropriate eyeglasses since June 1997. Claim dismissed.

Case Information

Claimant short name:
Footnote (claimant name) :

Footnote (defendant name) :

Third-party claimant(s):

Third-party defendant(s):

Claim number(s):
Motion number(s):

Cross-motion number(s):

John L. Bell
Claimant's attorney:
Antonio Santana, Pro Se
Defendant's attorney:
Hon. Eliot Spitzer, Attorney General
(Michele M. Walls, Esq., Assistant Attorney General,of Counsel)
Third-party defendant's attorney:

Signature date:
April 28, 2000

Official citation:

Appellate results:

See also (multicaptioned case)


Claimant essentially asserts that the Department of Correctional Services (hereinafter DOCS) has deprived him of appropriate eyeglasses since June 1997.

Claimant testified that in June 1997 he possessed two pairs of eyeglasses, one which he had brought with him when he was incarcerated and another pair that had been issued to him by DOCS. He stated that by August 4, 1997 both pairs of eyeglasses had been taken away from him because they were broken. At such time he was incarcerated at Sing Sing Correctional Facility and he was in the yard at such facility when a "gang-related incident"[1]
occurred in the yard. He related that shots were fired by correction officers during the altercation. Claimant contended that because he did not have his eyeglasses he injured his nose while diving to the ground. He stated that because he was bleeding from the cut in his nose, he was incorrectly accused of participating in the fracas.
Claimant was transferred on August 6, 1997 to Clinton Correctional Facility where he was placed in the special housing unit (SHU). He claimed that he made several requests while at Clinton to see an eye doctor but that his requests were ignored. He states that he finally saw the eye doctor after speaking to Superintendent Senkowski about the situation when the Superintendent was making rounds in SHU. Claimant related that, although he eventually saw an eye doctor at Clinton, he did not receive the eyeglasses until after he was transferred to Southport Correctional Facility. Claimant further stated that the left arm on the frame of the glasses was broken when he received them. He reported that he does not wear the glasses because they tilt.

Claimant's contention that he was injured in the yard at Sing Sing because he did not have glasses was totally devoid of credibility. Indeed, claimant's poor credibility severely eroded all aspects of his claim. Furthermore, his assertion that his vision has deteriorated because he has not had proper glasses was not supported by necessary expert evidence (
see, Macey v Hassam, 97 AD2d 919). Claimant failed to establish by a preponderance of the credible evidence any viable cause of action against defendant.
The claim is dismissed and the Chief Clerk of the Court of Claims is directed to enter judgment accordingly.

April 28, 2000
Plattsburgh, New York

Judge of the Court of Claims

All quotes are from the trial notes unless otherwise indicated.