New York State Court of Claims

New York State Court of Claims

KALAMARAS v. THE STATE OF NEW YORK, #2001-015-205, Claim No. NONE, Motion No. M-64020


Synopsis


Firefighters employed by NYS Division of Military and Naval Affairs brought motion seeking late claim relief in regard to claim under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) for mealtime and sleep time compensation. Court denied late claim relief on basis of prior holding that such claim was for straight time compensation not overtime and hence was not recoverable under FLSA. The proposed claim, therefore, lacks merit.

Case Information

UID:
2001-015-205
Claimant(s):
GEORGE KALAMARAS, TIMOTHY J. IPPOLITO, JOHN T. BELL, JR., DAVID W. BOSWELL, NEIL F. CAPUTO, SEAN T. DAVIS, JOSEPH R. DEARBORN, JR., EDWARD ESHLEMAN, MAC D. FEINMAN, ROBERT F. GALLO, JOSEPH HAMILTON, MICHAEL R. LAMP, KARL A. MILLSPAUGH, BRENT A. NORMAN, REYNOLD R. RANDOLPH, MARIO SCADUTO III, RICHARD T. TUTTLE, BRIAN P. CONNELLY, JAMES J. BRODY, JAMES M. HEANEY, PATRICK A. HADLICH, JOEL T. RITSON, JEFF CHRISSLEY, and MICHAEL M. GADMAN
Claimant short name:
KALAMARAS
Footnote (claimant name) :

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

Third-party claimant(s):

Third-party defendant(s):

Claim number(s):
NONE
Motion number(s):
M-64020
Cross-motion number(s):

Judge:
FRANCIS T. COLLINS
Claimant's attorney:
Nancy E. Hoffman, EsquireBy: Robert Reilly, Esquire, of Counsel
Defendant's attorney:
Honorable Eliot Spitzer, Attorney General
By: Kevan J. Acton, EsquireAssistant Attorney General
Third-party defendant's attorney:

Signature date:
December 3, 2001
City:
Saratoga Springs
Comments:

Official citation:

Appellate results:

See also (multicaptioned case)



Decision

Claimants' motion for late claim relief filed on behalf of certain firefighters employed by the State of New York Division of Military and Naval Affairs at four airbases throughout the State and asserting a cause of action for compensation allegedly due pursuant to the Federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) 29 USC § § 201-219 for time spent eating and sleeping during their assigned shifts is denied. These firefighters were assigned four 24 hour shifts and one 10 hour shift every 14 days. During each 24 hour shift specific hours were designated for sleeping and for meals. Claimants allege that they were not compensated for sleep time and meal time as required under the FLSA. After the initial claim was filed the claimants named therein moved for certification of the claim as a class action pursuant to CPLR article 9. This Court denied the request to certify the proposed class but held that the Court had jurisdiction over those multiple claimants whose signed consents to become "party claimants" had been attached to the verified claim at the time of its filing. The Court also held, however, that those individuals whose consent forms were separately filed with the Court and which were not attached to the claim, including many of those individuals named in the instant motion, had not satisfied the jurisdictional prerequisites to suit in this Court (see Court of Claims Act § 11 (b)).

In the interim and while this motion for late claim relief was pending the Court granted a motion (M-63585) by the State of New York seeking an order dismissing the claim filed in the original action (Woolley v State of New York, Ct Cl, October 22, 2001 [Claim No. 103781], Collins, J. unreported). The Court dismissed the claim on the grounds that the relief sought in that claim, which is "nearly identical" to the relief sought in the proposed claim (affirmation of Robert Reilly, para. 14) was for straight time compensation which is not cognizable under the FLSA. The Court found that the initial claim lacked merit and should therefore be dismissed (see, Monahan v Chesterfield County Va., 95 F3d 1263). By logical extension that same finding must be made with regard to the proposed claim which seeks the same relief. It has long been settled that one of the factors which must be considered on a late claim application is whether the proposed claim lacks merit since it would be a futile exercise to permit litigation of a clearly baseless lawsuit (Savino v State of New York, 199 AD2d 254). Here the merit of a substantially identical FLSA cause of action has previously been resolved in the negative. Accordingly, in the exercise of the Court's discretion the instant motion must be denied (McCarthy v New York State Canal Corporation, 244 AD2d 57; Prusack v State of New York, 117 AD2d 729).


December 3, 2001
Saratoga Springs, New York
HON. FRANCIS T. COLLINS
Judge of the Court of Claims


The Court considered the following papers:
  1. Notice of motion dated August 31, 2001;
  2. Affirmation of Robert Reilly dated August 31, 2001 with exhibits;
  3. Affirmation of Kevan J. Acton dated September 17, 2001 with exhibits;
  4. Affirmation of Robert Reilly dated October 2, 2001.