New York State Court of Claims

New York State Court of Claims

WILLIAMS v. THE STATE OF NEW YORK, #2003-010-023, Claim No. 106380


Synopsis


Inmate claimant received $1500 in damages for injuries he sustained after being assaulted by a correction officer. The testimony of the correction officer was found not to be credible.

Case Information

UID:
2003-010-023
Claimant(s):
KEVIN WILLIAMS
Claimant short name:
WILLIAMS
Footnote (claimant name) :

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

Third-party claimant(s):

Third-party defendant(s):

Claim number(s):
106380
Motion number(s):

Cross-motion number(s):

Judge:
Terry Jane Ruderman
Claimant's attorney:
KEVIN WILLIAMSPro Se
Defendant's attorney:
HON. ELIOT SPITZER
Attorney General for the State of New YorkBy: Elyse Angelico, Assistant Attorney General
Third-party defendant's attorney:

Signature date:
June 23, 2003
City:
White Plains
Comments:

Official citation:

Appellate results:

See also (multicaptioned case)



Decision
Claimant seeks damages for personal injuries he allegedly sustained during his incarceration at Sing Sing Correctional Facility (Sing Sing) when he was assaulted by a correction officer. This claim was heard in a unified trial.
Claimant testified that on May 3, 2002, while he was in the hospital area, he was assaulted by Correction Officer Cruz. According to claimant, he was kicked and punched in his stomach, back and ribs by Cruz for one to two minutes. During the assault, Correction Officer Singleton attempted to restrain Cruz.
After the assault,
claimant was transported to the emergency room and x-rays were taken. He sustained abrasions to his left forearm and shin and bruises to his forehead. The x-rays were negative (Ex. 4). Shortly after the incident, claimant was transferred to another facility where he was assigned the job of pantry worker. He resumed playing sports and by July was injured playing basketball.
As a result of the incident,
claimant was charged with "assault on staff, interference with employee, refusing direct order and refuse search or frisk" (Ex. 1). At the superintendent hearing on the charges, the hearing officer found that claimant was not guilty on all the counts and accorded "no credibility to the reports or testimony of Cruz," which was contradicted by two staff members and an inmate witness (id.).
At trial,
claimant's account of the May 3, 2002 incident was not disputed. Neither Officer Cruz nor Officer Singleton were called to rebut the specific allegations claimant made of being punched and kicked. Claimant's testimony regarding this assault was simply unrefuted by any evidence at trial. Defendant did not call any witnesses.
Accordingly, the Court finds
defendant 100 percent liable for claimant's injuries and awards claimant $1500 in damages.
It is ordered that, to the extent that
claimant has paid a filing fee, it may be recovered pursuant to Court of Claims Act §11-a(2).
LET JUDGMENT BE ENTERED ACCORDINGLY.


June 23, 2003
White Plains, New York

HON. TERRY JANE RUDERMAN
Judge of the Court of Claims