New York State Court of Claims

New York State Court of Claims

Lineberger v. THE STATE OF NEW YORK, #2000-010-002, Claim No. 100596, Motion No. M-61116


Synopsis


Pro se
inmate moved for summary judgment on claim that he was assaulted by another inmate during his incarceration at Sing Sing Correctional Facility, due of defendant's negligent supervision.


Case Information

UID:
2000-010-002
Claimant(s):
CHARLES EDWARD LINEBERGER
Claimant short name:
Lineberger
Footnote (claimant name) :

Defendant(s):
THE STATE OF NEW YORK
Footnote (defendant name) :

Third-party claimant(s):

Third-party defendant(s):

Claim number(s):
100596
Motion number(s):
M-61116
Cross-motion number(s):

Judge:
Terry Jane Ruderman
Claimant's attorney:
CHARLES EDWARD LINEBERGERPro Se
Defendant's attorney:
HON. ELIOT SPITZER
Attorney General for the State of New York
By: Elyse J. Angelico, Assistant Attorney General
Third-party defendant's attorney:

Signature date:
March 20, 2000
City:
White Plains
Comments:

Official citation:

Appellate results:

See also (multicaptioned case)



Decision

The following papers numbered 1-2 have been read and considered by the Court on claimant's motion for summary judgment:
Motion, Claimant's Supporting Affidavit.................................................................1

Defendant's Opposing Affirmation..........................................................................2

Filed Papers: Claim

Claim No. 100596 alleges that claimant was assaulted by another inmate during his incarceration at Sing Sing Correctional Facility, due of defendant's negligent supervision. Claimant seeks summary judgment on this claim.

To prevail on a motion for summary judgment, the moving party must establish its cause of action or defense sufficiently to warrant a court directing judgment in its favor as a matter of law (Zuckerman v City of New York, 49 NY2d 557, 562). Summary judgment is a drastic remedy and should not be granted where there is any doubt as to the existence of a triable issue (Andre v Pomeroy, 35 NY2d 361, 364). The Court of Appeals has repeatedly cautioned, "even in those negligence cases in which ‘the facts are conceded there is often a question as to whether the defendant or the plaintiff acted reasonably under the circumstances. This can rarely be decided as a matter of law'" (Ugarriza v Schmieder, 46 NY2d 471, 475 quoting Andre v Pomeroy, supra at 364; see, Davis v Federated Dept. Stores, 227 AD2d 514).

While the State is required to use reasonable care to protect the inmates of its correctional facilities from the foreseeable risk of harm (see, Flaherty v State of New York, 296 NY 342; Littlejohn v State of New York, 218 AD2d 833; Dizak v State of New York, 124 AD2d 329; Sebastiano v State of New York, 112 AD2d 562), "[t]he State is not an insurer of inmate safety; its duty is to exercise reasonable care to prevent foreseeable attacks by other inmates." (Padgett v State of New York, 163 AD2d 914). The mere fact that a correction officer may not have been present when the assault on claimant occurred does not give rise to an inference of negligence, absent a showing that prison officials had notice of a foreseeably dangerous situation (see, Leibach v State of New York, 215 AD2d 978; Padgett v State of New York, supra). Here, claimant failed to submit any evidence in admissible form sufficient to establish entitlement to summary judgment on his claim, e.g. that defendant was given notice that such attack was foreseeable.

Motion DENIED.


March 20, 2000
White Plains, New York

HON. TERRY JANE RUDERMAN
Judge of the Court of Claims