New York State Court of Claims

New York State Court of Claims

STACCHINI v. THE STATE OF NEW YORK, #2001-028-568, Claim No. NONE, Motion No. M-63875


Claimant's application for permission to late-file his claim is denied. The proposed Claim lacks merit as it alleges conduct taken by employees of the County of Schenectady. Claimant may also initiate actions in other forums to obtain the relief sought in this Court.

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:
Defendant's attorney:
BY: Glenn C. King, Esq. Assistant Attorney General
Third-party defendant's attorney:
Signature date:
October 23, 2001

Official citation:

Appellate results:

See also (multicaptioned case)


The following papers were read on Claimant's motion pursuant to §10(6) of the Court of Claims Act (CCA) for permission to late file his claim:

1. Notice of Motion and Supporting Affidavit of Mario J. Stacchini, filed August 3, 2001, (Stacchini Affidavit) with annexed Exhibit 1[1].
2. Affirmation in Opposition of Glenn C. King, Esq., (King Opposition), filed August 31, 2001.

Claimant alleges that on or about the second week of December 2000 (Stacchini Affidavit, ¶ 7) while incarcerated at the Schenectady County Jail, he suffered burns to his arm from hot cooking oil which splattered. At the time of the alleged injuries, Claimant was working as a cook preparing fried chicken for correction officers night meal. Claimant asserts the injuries were caused by the negligence of the defendant in failing to properly train him, provide protective clothing and footwear. As with most inmates requiring medical treatment, Claimant also has alleged that his medical care was substandard.

As a threshold issue, the Court has jurisdiction to review and determine this motion since it was timely filed within the relevant statute of limitations provided by Article 2 of the CPLR.

It is well-settled that the factors a Court must consider in determining a properly framed CCA §10 (6) motion are whether 1) the delay in filing the claim was excusable, 2) the State had notice of the essential facts constituting the claim, 3) the State had an opportunity to investigate the circumstances underlying the claim, 4) the claim appears to be meritorious, 5) the failure to file or serve upon the attorney general a timely claim or to serve upon the attorney general a timely notice of intention resulted in substantial prejudice to the State, and 6) there is any other available remedy (see, Matter of Gavigan v State of New York, 176 AD2d 1117, 1118; Bay Terrace Coop. Section IV v New York State Employees' Retirement System, Policemen's & Firemen's Retirement Sys., 55 NY2d 979, 981).

The defendant opposes this application on the basis of each of the statutory factors and therefore, the claimant does not enjoy a presumption in his favor on any factor (see, Calzada v State of New York, 121 AD2d 988; Cole v State of New York, 64 AD2d 1023, 1024).

The most decisive component in determining a motion under CCA §10 (6) is whether the proposed claim appears to be meritorious, since it would be futile to permit a meritless claim to proceed. (Matter of Santana v New York State Thruway Auth., 92 Misc 2d 1, 10). Claimant must establish the proposed claim is not patently groundless, frivolous, or legally defective and that there is reasonable cause to believe that a valid claim exists. (Matter of Santana v New York State Thruway Auth., supra, at 11). Generally, in reviewing the allegations in the proposed claim any "[f]acts stated in a motion for leave to file a late claim against the State are deemed true for purpose of motion, when not denied or contradicted in opposing affidavits [citations omitted]." (Sessa v State of New York, 88 Misc 2d 454, 458, affd 63 AD2d 334, affd 47 NY2d 976).

The defendant acknowledges that the injuries complained of allegedly occurred while

Claimant was incarcerated at the Schenectady County Jail at the hands of local jail employees. Taking those facts as true, Claimant has failed to establish his claim as meritorious. A sheriff and his staff are local employees not State officers within the jurisdiction of this Court (Williams v State of New York, 90 AD2d 861; Bradford v State of New York, [Ct Cl, Collins, J.], Claim No. 100251, Motion Nos. M-61031, CM-61078, UID #2000-015-007, March 2, 2000;[2]charge. Access may be gained through the Court of Claims website at Fonfa v State of New York, 88 Misc 2d 343). As a consequence, this Court lacks the subject matter jurisdiction to entertain the claim, and the claim, insofar as it is presented in this Court, lacks merit.

Lastly, the defendant correctly asserts that Claimant has other available remedies against local officials for their alleged negligence and treatment of claimant, such as a negligence action and/or a federal civil rights claim (see, e.g., Bradley v County of Albany, 161 AD2d 1050 [allegations that he injured his hand in moving mechanical gate at county jail and was not provided with proper medical treatment were sufficient to state negligence claim against county and civil rights claim against county and county sheriff] and Zucker v County of Westchester, 271 AD2d 604 [injuries sustained in attack by inmates]).

Having considered the relevant statutory factors, the Court finds that Claimant has failed to satisfy CCA §10(6) and his application for permission to late file a claim is denied.

October 23, 2001
Albany, New York

Judge of the Court of Claims

[1] Exhibit 1 of the moving papers is the proposed claim. The proposed claim was verified by claimant.

[2]Recent decisions of the Court of Claims are available in a searchable database on the Internet, free of