New York State Court of Claims

New York State Court of Claims

PLAIR v. THE STATE OF NEW YORK, #2001-010-059, Claim No. 96197


Synopsis


Inmate on inmate assault. No proof establishing defendant's liability.

Case Information

UID:
2001-010-059
Claimant(s):
NAHRUE PLAIR
Claimant short name:
PLAIR
Footnote (claimant name) :

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

Third-party claimant(s):

Third-party defendant(s):

Claim number(s):
96197
Motion number(s):

Cross-motion number(s):

Judge:
Terry Jane Ruderman
Claimant's attorney:
NAHRUE PLAIRPro Se
Defendant's attorney:
HON. ELIOT SPITZER
Attorney General for the State of New YorkBy: Elyse Angelico, Assistant Attorney General
Third-party defendant's attorney:

Signature date:
August 9, 2001
City:
White Plains
Comments:

Official citation:

Appellate results:

See also (multicaptioned case)



Decision
Claimant, an inmate proceeding
pro se, seeks damages for personal injuries that he sustained on April 14,1997, when he was allegedly assaulted by another inmate at Sing Sing Correctional Facility.
Claimant testified that on the morning of April 14,1997, at approximately 7:30 a.m., he was released from his cell in the protective custody unit to eat breakfast. Claimant stated that while he was eating an unknown assailant cut claimant's face.
Claimant further testified that he did not know what, if anything, had provoked the attack.
The mere occurrence of an unprovoked, unexplained attack by another inmate, with whom claimant had no prior confrontations, does not give rise to an inference of negligence, absent a showing that prison officials had notice of a foreseeably dangerous situation (
see, Stanley v State of New York, 239 AD2d 700; Roudette v State of New York, 224 AD2d 808; Padgett v State of New York; 163 AD2d 914). Further, while the State is required to use reasonable care to protect the inmates of its correctional facilities from the foreseeable risks 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, 112AD2d 562), the State is not an insurer of inmate safety (see, Padgett v State of New York, supra; Leibach v State of New York, 215 AD2d 978).
To establish liability, claimant must demonstrate one of the following: (1) the State knew that claimant was at risk of being assaulted and yet failed to provide claimant with reasonable protection (see Sebastiano v State of New York, supra); (2) the assailant was particularly known to the State to be prone to perpetrating such an assault and the State did not take proper precautionary measures (see, Wilson v State of New York, 36 AD2d 559); or (3) the State had ample notice and opportunity to intervene but did not act (see, Huertas v State of New York, 84 AD2d 650). Claimant failed to establish any basis for finding defendant liable for the attack. Accordingly, the claim warrants dismissal.
LET JUDGMENT BE ENTERED DISMISSING CLAIM NO. 96197.


August 9, 2001
White Plains, New York

HON. TERRY JANE RUDERMAN
Judge of the Court of Claims