New York State Court of Claims

New York State Court of Claims

ORTIZ v. THE STATE OF NEW YORK, #2000-028-0014, Claim No. 98667


Synopsis


Prison officials act in engraving a defective typewriter, thus preventing it from being returned under the seller's guarantee, did not give rise to liability because the machine was repaired without charge to claimant.


Case Information

UID:
2000-028-0014
Claimant(s):
EDDIE ORTIZ
Claimant short name:
ORTIZ
Footnote (claimant name) :

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

Third-party claimant(s):

Third-party defendant(s):

Claim number(s):
98667
Motion number(s):

Cross-motion number(s):

Judge:
RICHARD E. SISE
Claimant's attorney:
EDDIE ORTIZ, pro se
Defendant's attorney:
HON. ELIOT SPITZER, ATTORNEY GENERAL
BY: Kevin Acton, Esq. Assistant Attorney General
Third-party defendant's attorney:

Signature date:
November 30, 2000
City:
Albany
Comments:

Official citation:

Appellate results:

See also (multicaptioned case)


Decision
This claim arose on May 14, 1998 at Coxsackie Correctional Facility, when a correction officer engraved a new typewriter that had been purchased by claimant and mailed to the facility. According to claimant, the engraving was done as soon as he identified the typewriter as the model he had ordered but before the typewriter was tested to see if it was defective. The catalog store from which the typewriter had been ordered, M & P Sales, allowed return of defective merchandise within thirty days but only if the items were in "good condition without engraving." Because the typewriter had been engraved, claimant was unable to return the defective product.

At trial, Correction Officer Lawrence Byrne, the package room officer at Coxsackie C.F., testified that the standard procedure followed when an inmate received shipment of a typewriter was to test each key, through the alphabet, to fill out a form indicating that the test was completed, and -- if no defect was found -- to proceed to engrave the machine. Claimant acknowledged that the defect in his typewriter was in its memory, not the operation of the keypad, and consequently the defect would not have been revealed by the standard testing. In any event, claimant also acknowledged at trial that his machine was repaired by the manufacturer within two months of its receipt, at no cost to claimant. The fact that the typewriter was engraved did not, apparently, interfere with its being repaired under the manufacturer's guarantee.

Inasmuch as claimant has failed to establish that he suffered any compensable damages as a result of the State's actions, the claim is dismissed.

Let judgment be entered accordingly.


November 30, 2000
Albany, New York

HON. RICHARD E. SISE
Judge of the Court of Claims