New York State Court of Claims

New York State Court of Claims

THORNE V STATE OF NEW YORK, #2000-017-003, Claim No. 89580, Motion No. M-60185


The Court denied claimant's motion to amend his claim, which seeks damages for injuries sustained in a motor vehicle accident while being transported on a Department of Corrections vehicle, to include allegations of medical negligence and malpractice arising from the treatment he subsequently received for those injuries in the State facility where he was incarcerated. In so ruling, the Court found that the allegations contained in the proposed amended claim did not arise from the same transactions or occurrences underlying the claims pleaded in the original claim and thus did not relate back for accrual and statute of limitations purposes.

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):

Claimant's attorney:
Rodney Parker Thorne, Pro Se
Defendant's attorney:
Hon. Eliot Spitzer
Attorney General of the State of New YorkBy: Dewey Lee, Esq., Assistant Attorney General
Third-party defendant's attorney:

Signature date:
May 16, 2000
White Plains

Official citation:

Appellate results:

See also (multicaptioned case)


The following papers, numbered one through four, were read and considered on

claimant's motion to amend his claim:

Notice of Motion and Unsworn Affidavit in Support............................................1

Affirmation in Opposition and Supplemental Affirmation in Opposition.............2

Claimant's Letter to the Court dated February 17, 2000........................................3

Filed Claim; Verified Answer................................................................................4

Claimant filed the above-referenced Claim on June 21, 1994, alleging that he sustained back injuries, inter alia, in a motor vehicle accident on December 7, 1992 while being transported in shackles on a correctional facility bus due to the State's improper maintenance of the vehicle. He now moves to amend the Claim to include allegations that he received improper care and medical treatment for those injuries beginning on February 1, 1999 during a transfer from Clinton Correctional Facility to Altona Correctional Facility, and thereafter while incarcerated at Altona. Leave to amend a pleading shall be freely granted in the absence of prejudice (see, CPLR 3025; 22 NYCRR 206.7[b]; Cannon v State of New York, 163 Misc 2d 623, 625-626). However, claim amendment may not be utilized to circumvent the Statute of Limitations nor to remedy a jurisdictional defect in the original pleading (see, Ferrer v State of New York, 172 Misc 2d 1, 7; Grande v State of New York, 160 Misc 2d 383). Pursuant to CPLR 203(f), "[a] claim asserted in an amended pleading is deemed to have been interposed at the time the claims in the original pleading were interposed, unless the original pleading does not give notice of the transactions, occurrences, or series of transactions or occurrences to be proved pursuant to the amended pleading" (see, Roe v Barad, __ AD2d __, 699 NYS2d 484).

The Court notes that no Notice of Intention alleging negligent care and medical treatment was served within 90 days of February 1, 1999, nor was a related Claim filed or served within that period. Accordingly, the interposition of those allegations at this time will be permissible only if notice of the occurrences to be proved under the amended pleading was provided by the original pleading.

Here, the allegations of negligent care and medical treatment do not arise from the same transactions or occurrences that precipitated the allegations of negligent maintenance of the Department of Correctional Services' vehicle that were contained in the original Claim. Additionally, the original Claim did not and could not give notice of the present allegations of negligence, which occurred years after the motor vehicle accident at the core of the original Claim. Under these circumstances, the defense would be significantly prejudiced by the amendment of the Claim to include allegations of which it had no notice. Accordingly, the Court DENIES claimant's motion to amend this Claim. Since the cause of action to recover damages for negligent care and medical treatment cannot be said to relate back to the filing of the original claim (see, CPLR 203[f]), claimant may pursue those causes of action only by receiving permission to file a late Claim pursuant to Court of Claims Act §10(6).

May 16, 2000
White Plains, New York

Judge of the Court of Claims