New York State Court of Claims

New York State Court of Claims

CABAN v. THE STATE OF NEW YORK, #2002-016-045, Claim No. 104308


Inmate's claim of medical malpractice was dismissed.

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):

Alan C. Marin
Claimant's attorney:
Raymond Caban
Defendant's attorney:
Eliot Spitzer, Attorney GeneralBy: Dewey Lee, AAG
Third-party defendant's attorney:

Signature date:
May 13, 2002
New York

Official citation:

Appellate results:

See also (multicaptioned case)

This is the claim of Raymond Caban, which was tried at Mid-Orange Correctional Facility, where Mr. Caban testified on his own behalf. Defendant called no witnesses.

Caban's claim is for:
negligence and medical malpractice of the State of New York for allowing its agents, servants and/or employees through contract and agreement to perform [an] operation on claimant that was of no avail resulting in a second operation in the same area of the first one. And for further allowing its agents, servants and/or employees to subject claimant to continued pain and suffering by ignoring his complaints addressed to the facility medical staff who [did] not monitor his operation(s) and instead prolong[ed] his [continued] medical problems.

Claim, ¶2.

Caban testified that on July 8, 1998, he was taken from Mid-Orange Correctional Facility to Albany Medical Center for a hernia operation. Two months later, he began to feel pain in the area of the surgery and went to sick call to complain. He was taken to St. Agnes Hospital for a second surgery on September 13, 2000. According to claimant, this surgery was performed to remove a foreign object that had been left in his body during the previous Albany Medical Center surgery. Caban recounted that after the second surgery, he continued to be in pain and was repeatedly taken to St. Agnes Hospital for follow-up visits. He was also seen repeatedly at Mid-Orange, at Fishkill Correctional Facility and also at Albany Medical Center.

At some point, Caban recalled, he was given pain medication, although he asserted that it did not help him. He also stated that he went back to St. Agnes on several occasions for a procedure in which a surgeon attempted to alleviate his pain by injecting him with anesthesia to "freeze the nerve."

Caban testified that on September 6, 2001, he had "laser surgery" at St. Agnes, after which he continued to be in pain and he further testified that such surgery was repeated on November 1, 2001. Thereafter, he recalled, he continued to be taken to St. Agnes for follow-up visits, the last being the Friday before the trial of this claim on April 26, 2002. Finally, Caban testified that as of trial, he was still in pain, which he attributed to a "pinched nerve."
* * *
"It is fundamental law that the State has a duty to provide reasonable and adequate medical care to the inmates of its prisons."
Rivers v State of New York, 159 AD2d 788, 789, 552 NYS2d 189 (3d Dept 1990), lv denied, 76 NY2d 701, 557 NYS2d 878 (1990). However, it is also fundamental that the State is not liable for treatment provided to an inmate by an outside physician or at an outside medical facility. Id. Accordingly, as a matter of law, the State would not be liable to Caban for deficient treatment, if any, provided at Albany Medical Center or St. Agnes Hospital.
To the extent that Caban complains of medical treatment provided to him at State correctional facilities, the medical records he provided were scant (see claimant's exhibit 2). But more importantly, in order for him to prevail in a case such as this, he would be required to present expert testimony that accepted standards of medical care were not met. See, e.g.,
Lyons v McCauley, 252 AD2d 516, 675 NYS2d 375 (2d Dept 1998), lv denied 92 NY2d 814, 681 NYS2d 475 (1998). Caban presented no such expert testimony.
Accordingly, claim no. 104308 is dismissed.


May 13, 2002
New York, New York

Judge of the Court of Claims