New York State Court of Claims

New York State Court of Claims

P.A. v. THE STATE OF NEW YORK, #2001-016-019, Claim No. None, Motion No. M-62996


Synopsis


Late claim motion of pro se claimant asserting that he had contracted HIV while incarcerated was denied. This motion to vacate the previous order pursuant to CPLR 5015(A)(2) was denied.

Case Information

UID:
2001-016-019
Claimant(s):
P.A. The caption has been changed sua sponte to protect claimant's privacy.
Claimant short name:
P.A.
Footnote (claimant name) :
The caption has been changed sua sponte to protect claimant's privacy.
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-62996
Cross-motion number(s):

Judge:
Alan C. Marin
Claimant's attorney:
P.A.
Defendant's attorney:
Eliot Spitzer, Attorney GeneralBy: James E. Shoemaker, AAG
Third-party defendant's attorney:

Signature date:
March 19, 2001
City:
New York
Comments:

Official citation:

Appellate results:

See also (multicaptioned case)


Decision

In a Decision and Order dated March 29, 2000 and filed April 5, 2000 (the "Decision and Order"), this Court denied claimant's motion for permission to file a late claim. In his proposed claim, P.A. asserted that he tested positive for the HIV virus after sharing a cell at Woodbourne Correctional Facility with another inmate who, unbeknownst to him at the time, was HIV-positive. Claimant appealed the Decision and Order, which was affirmed. See P.A. v State of New York, 2000 NY Slip Op 10131, 716 NYS2d 423 (3d Dept 2000). This is claimant's motion pursuant to CPLR §5015(a)(2) for an order vacating the Decision and Order.

CPLR 5015(a)(2) provides that "[t]he court which rendered a judgment or order may relieve a party from it upon such terms as may be just . . . upon the ground of . . . newly-discovered evidence which, if introduced at the trial, would probably have produced a different result and which could not have been discovered in time to move for a new trial . . ."

The "newly-discovered evidence" submitted by claimant includes his own medical records; a Department of Correctional Services ("DOCS") "Comprehensive Medical Summary Form" for his cellmate; affidavits from claimant's family members; and a DOCS directive on "Double Cell Procedures."

By its very terms, CPLR 5015(a)(2) appears applicable to orders or judgments following a trial, not to orders on late claim motions. Nor has claimant provided a satisfactory explanation as to his failure to submit such documentation in connection with his late claim motion.

However, even assuming, arguendo, that CPLR 5015(a)(2) were applicable to the Decision and Order, and even assuming that the documents now submitted by claimant could not have been obtained by him in connection with his late claim motion, such documents would not "probably have produced a different result."

The new documentation does not alter the fact, as stated in the Decision and Order, that claimant has failed to present medical expertise relating to the time lag between exposure and becoming symptomatic or, moreover, as to the medical validity of his theory, i.e., that sharing a razor with an HIV-positive cellmate caused him to become HIV-positive. Nor has claimant shown that defendant knew or should have known that his cellmate was HIV-positive.[1]

The new documentation also does not change the fact that claimant failed to supply a legally cognizable excuse for late filing within the meaning of the late claim statute.

For the foregoing reasons, IT IS ORDERED that motion no. M-62996 is denied.


March 19, 2001
New York, New York

HON. ALAN C. MARIN
Judge of the Court of Claims




  1. [1]Claimant asserts that defendant knew his cellmate was HIV-positive as of 1991, submitting a DOCS "Comprehensive Medical Summary Form" for the cellmate. In one instance, the form indicates that an HIV test was performed in 1991. Another part of the form indicates that the date of onset of HIV was in 1999. However, the form does not indicate where the HIV test was performed, i.e., while the cellmate was in or out of DOCS custody. Moreover, the form was completed in June of 2000. Complete medical records for the cellmate have not been provided.