New York State Court of Claims

New York State Court of Claims

JONES v. THE STATE OF NEW YORK, #2002-019-598, Claim No. 106389-A, Motion No. M-66081


Synopsis


Claimant's motion to compel additional responses to discovery demands is denied; the Court sua sponte dismisses cause of action alleging negligent handling of medical records.

Case Information

UID:
2002-019-598
Claimant(s):
DAVID JONES
Claimant short name:
JONES
Footnote (claimant name) :

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

Third-party claimant(s):

Third-party defendant(s):

Claim number(s):
106389-A
Motion number(s):
M-66081
Cross-motion number(s):

Judge:
FERRIS D. LEBOUS
Claimant's attorney:
DAVID JONES, PRO SE
Defendant's attorney:
HON. ELIOT SPITZER, ATTORNEY GENERAL
BY: Joseph F. Romani, Assistant Attorney General,of counsel
Third-party defendant's attorney:

Signature date:
December 16, 2002
City:
Binghamton
Comments:

Official citation:

Appellate results:

See also (multicaptioned case)



Decision

Claimant, an inmate appearing pro se, moves for an order to compel the defendant State of New York (hereinafter "State") to comply with various discovery demands. The State opposes said motion.


The Court has considered the following papers in connection with this motion:
  1. Claim, filed July 17, 2002.
  2. Notice of Motion No. M-66081, sworn to November 20, 2002, and filed November 25, 2002.
  3. Affidavit of David Jones, sworn to November 20, 2002.
  4. Affirmation of Joseph F. Romani, AAG, in opposition to motion, dated December 6, 2002, and filed December 9, 2002, with attached exhibits.
This Claim alleges that Claimant was injured when his right forearm was cut by a sharp edge on the feed-up slot in his cell during his incarceration at Southport Correctional Facility (hereinafter "Facility") on October 3, 2001. The Claim also alleges "[n]eglectful handling of medical records by STAFF employed by N.Y.S." (Claim, ¶ 15).


First, Claimant requests that the State be compelled to take photographs of his scar for which he offers to cover expenses. (Claimant's Affidavit, ¶ 4). Claimant cites no authority compelling the State to comply with such a request. The Court denies Claimant's motion relative to this demand.


The remaining demands in Claimant's motion all relate to the allegation in this Claim that

charges the State with negligence based upon improper handling of medical records. More specifically, Claimant states in these supporting papers that "[e]ach of [his medical] encounters should have been lodged by law." (Affidavit of David Jones, ¶ 5). It is well-settled that under the inherent powers doctrine a Court is permitted to direct a sua sponte dismissal when facts are uncovered establishing a lack of subject matter jurisdiction. (Matter of Fry v Village of Tarrytown, 89 NY2d 714, 718). Quite simply there is no cause of action for negligent handling of medical records. Assuming, arguendo, the existence of an internal Department of Correctional Services directive requiring such record keeping, "[r]egulations, unlike statutes, cannot impliedly create a cause of action [citations omitted]. Consequently, no liability may be imposed even for a clear violation of the directive as no showing has been made that a common law or statutory duty has been breached." (Vega v State of New York, Ct Cl, July 29, 2002, McNamara, J., Claim No. None, Motion No. M-65075 [UID No. 2002-011-566]).[1] Moreover, even assuming these allegations to be true, Claimant has failed to allege that he suffered any damages as a result.


As such, to the extent that the remaining demands in Claimant's motion all relate to discovery regarding the State's alleged failure to record all his medical encounters, Claimant's motion is denied since said documents are not material and necessary on the remaining cause of action alleging negligence in connection with the sharp edge in his cell. (CPLR 3101).


Accordingly, for the reasons stated above, it is ORDERED that Claimant's motion, Motion No. M-66081, is DENIED and the Court, sua sponte, dismisses the portion of this Claim alleging a cause of action for negligent handling of medical records in accordance with the foregoing.


December 16, 2002
Binghamton, New York

HON. FERRIS D. LEBOUS
Judge of the Court of Claims




[1]Unreported decisions from the Court of Claims are available via the Internet at http://www.nyscourtofclaims.state.ny.us/decision.htm.