New York State Court of Claims

New York State Court of Claims

BROWN v.THE STATE OF NEW YORK, #2000-013-038, Claim No. 98898, Motion No. M-62240


Synopsis



Case Information

UID:
2000-013-038
Claimant(s):
JAMEL BROWN
Claimant short name:
BROWN
Footnote (claimant name) :

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

Third-party claimant(s):

Third-party defendant(s):

Claim number(s):
98898
Motion number(s):
M-62240
Cross-motion number(s):

Judge:
PHILIP J. PATTI
Claimant's attorney:
JAMEL BROWN, Pro Se
Defendant's attorney:
HON. ELIOT SPITZER
Attorney General of the State of New York
BY: EARL F. GIALANELLA, ESQ. Assistant Attorney General
Third-party defendant's attorney:

Signature date:
December , 2000
City:
Rochester
Comments:

Official citation:

Appellate results:

See also (multicaptioned case)



Decision


On September 20, 2000, the following papers were read on Claimant's motion to strike Defendant's affirmative defenses:
1. Notice of Motion
2. Affidavit in Support
3. Affirmation in Opposition and Annexed Exhibits
4. Filed Papers: Claim and Answer

Claimant brought this action to recover damages for wrongful excessive confinement and excessive force he allegedly endured at the Southport Correctional Facility (Southport). He now seeks to strike Defendant's four affirmative defenses.

Three of the four defenses are customary affirmative defenses in tort cases. They seek: (1) to reduce any recovery to account for Claimant's comparative negligence (see, CPLR 1411); (2) to limit Defendant's liability for non-economic loss to its equitable share, to the extent that New York State is not found to be more than 50% culpable (see, CPLR 1601); and, (3) to reduce Defendant's potential liability to the extent that Claimant has released or recovered from third parties (see, General Obligations Law §15-108). The fourth affirmative defense alleges that Defendant is absolutely and qualifiedly immune from liability.

Claimant argues that I should strike the first three affirmative defenses as they "lack factual data." As I have explained previously, however, a Defendant does not have to plead the underlying facts that support such affirmative defenses (see, Green v State of New York, Ct Cl, March 17, 1999 [Claim No. 96453 - Motion No. M-58491], Patti, J. [copy attached]). Therefore, this part of Claimant's motion is denied.

Claimant aims to strike the fourth affirmative defense because he says that Defendant's corrections officers were not exercising any discretionary judgment. It is well-settled, however, that Defendant may be entitled to immunity for actions of its corrections officers in issuing disciplinary reports and conducting disciplinary proceedings (Arteaga v State of New York, 72 NY2d 212). Accordingly, the fourth affirmative defense must also be allowed the stand.

The motion is denied in its entirety.


December , 2000
Rochester, New York

HON. PHILIP J. PATTI
Judge of the Court of Claims