New York State Court of Claims

New York State Court of Claims

ROWE/MYERS v. THE STATE OF NEW YORK, #2002-010-008, Claim No. 101571, Motion No. M-64267


Synopsis


Claimants' motion for a joint trial is denied.

Case Information

UID:
2002-010-008
Claimant(s):
RUBEN ROWE AND CHRISTOPHER MYERS
Claimant short name:
ROWE/MYERS
Footnote (claimant name) :

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

Third-party claimant(s):

Third-party defendant(s):

Claim number(s):
101571
Motion number(s):
M-64267
Cross-motion number(s):

Judge:
Terry Jane Ruderman
Claimant's attorney:
WILLIAM J. ROLD, ESQ.
Defendant's attorney:
HON. ELIOT SPITZER
Attorney General for the State of New York
By: Vincent Cascio, Assistant Attorney General
(Claim No. 101571)
John Healey, Assistant Attorney General(Claim No. 103459)
Third-party defendant's attorney:

Signature date:
January 18, 2002
City:
White Plains
Comments:

Official citation:

Appellate results:

See also (multicaptioned case)
2002-010-009

Decision

The following papers numbered 1-4 were read and considered by the Court on claimants' motion for a joint trial:
Notice of Motion, Supporting Affirmation and Exhibits, Memorandum of Law....1

Affirmation in Opposition........................................................................................2

Affirmation in Opposition........................................................................................3

Reply Affirmation....................................................................................................4

Claimants seek to have Parra v State of New York tried jointly with Rowe and Myers v State of New York and to have joint discovery. The Court is mindful that the interests of justice and judicial economy are often served by joint trials (see, Chiacchia v National Westminster Bank, 124 AD2d 626, 628; Megyesi v Automotive Rentals, 115 AD2d 596). However, the Court's discretion is undeniably wide in assessing the propriety of a motion for joint trial pursuant to CPLR 602 (a) (see, Heck v Waldbaums's Supermarkets, 134 AD2d 568).

Here, in Claim No. 101571, two claims have already been stipulated for a joint trial. Rowe alleges that an inmate sustained chemical burns on January 14, 1998 in the kitchen at Sing Sing Correctional Facility ("Sing Sing"), when an industrial kettle exploded and Myers alleges that an inmate sustained burns on September 27, 1998 in the kitchen at Sing Sing when he slipped on the floor near the same industrial kettle. The second claim accrued eight months after the first. While there are common issues, the witness' testimony and evidence must be carefully monitored as to how it relates to each separate claim. Now, claimants seek to join yet another claim, Parra, which accrued 18 months after the Rowe and 10 months after the Myers incidents and does not even involve the industrial kettle. Rather, Parra involves an inmate who was allegedly injured when a garbage container, hoisted on a forklift, filled with boiling water to mop the floor, collapsed and splashed claimant in the kitchen at Sing Sing on July 12, 1999. Under the circumstances, where the three claims are not very similar factually and two of the claims have already been joined, the Court does not find that it would better serve the interests of justice to join the third claim despite claimants' argument for economic savings to them.

Accordingly, claimant's motion is DENIED.

January 18, 2002
White Plains, New York

HON. TERRY JANE RUDERMAN
Judge of the Court of Claims