New York State Court of Claims

New York State Court of Claims

FITZPATRICK v. STATE OF NEW YORK, #2002-018-130, Claim No. 103293, Motion No. M-64293


Synopsis


Claimant's motion to compel discovery is denied. Claimant's request seeks confidential information which cannot be released without some showing that in the interests of justice the need for the release of the information outweighs the need for confidentiality. (Mental Hygiene Law §33.13(c)) Claimant's request is over-broad and claimant has not demonstrated that the information is relevant to his claim.

Case Information

UID:
2002-018-130
Claimant(s):
KEVIN FITZPATRICK
Claimant short name:
FITZPATRICK
Footnote (claimant name) :

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

Third-party claimant(s):

Third-party defendant(s):

Claim number(s):
103293
Motion number(s):
M-64293
Cross-motion number(s):

Judge:
DIANE L. FITZPATRICK
Claimant's attorney:
KEVIN FITZPATRICKPro Se
Defendant's attorney:
ELIOT SPITZER
Attorney General of the State of New York
By: JOEL L. MARMELSTEIN, ESQUIREAssistant Attorney General
Third-party defendant's attorney:

Signature date:
April 24, 2002
City:
Syracuse
Comments:

Official citation:

Appellate results:

See also (multicaptioned case)



Decision
Claimant brings a motion to compel discovery. On July 18, 2001, claimant served a Notice of Discovery and Inspection seeking various documents related to his claim for damages to which defendant failed to respond. Claimant wrote defendant a letter requesting the documents on August 29, 2001 and again on September 26, 2001. After service of this motion, defendant produced a number of documents responding to all items in claimant's notice of discovery and inspection except for item 10. Claimant has not complained about the information provided. Therefore, this decision will be limited to whether defendant should produce the information demanded by claimant in item 10 of the notice.

The claim seeks damages for assault and battery when claimant was allegedly unjustifiably and inappropriately restrained and involuntarily injected with tranquilizing drugs on October 29, 1999, while a patient at the Central New York Psychiatric Center (hereinafter referred to as CNYPC). Item 10 of claimant's Notice for Discovery and Inspection seeks: "names and New York State Department of Correctional Services DIN numbers of all inmates/patients housed on CNYPC ward 301 (the incident location) on or about October 29, 1999." Defendant claims the production of this information is a violation of medical confidentiality. The Court agrees.

The request for the names and DIN numbers for all inmates and patients on the ward of the psychiatric center where claimant was housed on the day of the alleged incident seeks confidential information which cannot be released without some showing that in the interests of justice the need for the release of the information outweighs the need for confidentiality. (Mental Hygiene Law §33.13(c)) The claimant has not made such showing. Moreover, the request is over-broad and claimant has not demonstrated that the information is relevant to his claim. (
Campbell v State of New York, 105 Misc 2d 204)
Defendant is not required to provide the information requested in item 10 of claimant's notice of discovery and inspection.

Claimant's motion is DENIED as to item 10 of his notice of discovery and inspection, and is moot as to the remaining items because defendant has provided the information demanded.

April 24, 2002
Syracuse, New York

HON. DIANE L. FITZPATRICK
Judge of the Court of Claims


The Court considered the following documents in deciding this motion:

Notice of Motion.............................................................................................1

Affidavit of Kevin Fitzpatrick in support with all exhibits attached

thereto..................................................................................................2


Affirmation of Joel L. Marmelstein, Esquire, Assistant Attorney

General, in response to motion with all exhibits attached thereto.......3


Filed Documents:


Claim................................................................................................................4