New York State Court of Claims

New York State Court of Claims

HARRIS v. THE STATE OF NEW YORK, THE MID-STATE CORRECTIONAL FACILITY MEDICAL DEPARTMENT, #2004-009-50, Claim No. 105363, Motion Nos. M-68523, CM-68572


Synopsis


Claimant's motion for summary judgment was denied. Defendant's cross-motion for preclusion and/or dismissal was also denied.

Case Information

UID:
2004-009-50
Claimant(s):
GEORGE HARRIS
Claimant short name:
HARRIS
Footnote (claimant name) :

Defendant(s):
THE STATE OF NEW YORK, THE MID-STATE CORRECTIONAL FACILITY MEDICAL DEPARTMENT
Footnote (defendant name) :

Third-party claimant(s):

Third-party defendant(s):

Claim number(s):
105363
Motion number(s):
M-68523
Cross-motion number(s):
CM-68572
Judge:
NICHOLAS V. MIDEY JR.
Claimant's attorney:
GEORGE HARRIS, Pro Se
Defendant's attorney:
HON. ELIOT SPITZER
Attorney General
BY: Maureen A. MacPherson, Esq.,
Assistant Attorney GeneralOf Counsel.
Third-party defendant's attorney:

Signature date:
September 8, 2004
City:
Syracuse
Comments:

Official citation:

Appellate results:

See also (multicaptioned case)



Decision

Claimant has brought a motion (M-68523) seeking an order granting him summary judgment, based upon an alleged failure of the defendant to answer his claim. Defendant has submitted a cross-motion (CM-68572), not only opposing the relief sought by claimant, but also seeking an order of preclusion and/or dismissal of the claim.

The following papers were considered by the Court in connection with these motions:
Notice of Motion, Affidavit in Support, with Exhibits 1,2


Notice of Cross-Motion, Affirmation, with Exhibits 3,4

"Reply Opposition to Cross-Motion to Preclude", with Exhibit 5


Filed Papers: Claim, Answer, Defendant's Discovery Demands (Claim No. 105363).


Filed Papers: Claim, Answer, Defendant's Discovery Demands (Claim No. 105348).

On December 19, 2001, claimant filed the instant claim (Claim No. 105363) alleging negligent medical treatment for post-operative care received by him at Mid-State Correctional Facility. Five days before the filing of this claim, on December 14, 2001, claimant had also filed a different claim (Claim No. 105348), alleging negligent medical treatment received by claimant at Upstate Medical Hospital. It is claimant's contention that the State has failed to respond to the instant claim (Claim No. 105363), and that based upon this default he should be granted summary judgment.

In response to this motion, defendant has attached copies of its answer and various discovery demands, which were served upon claimant on or about January 4, 2002. A review of these documents (see Exhibits B-E to Items 3,4), as well as the claim to which they respond (see Exhibit A to Items 3,4) establish to the satisfaction of this Court that these documents actually are in response to Claim No. 105348, and not Claim No. 105363 as contended by defendant.

In its consideration of this motion, however, the Court has also reviewed the answer and discovery demands which have been filed with the Clerk of the Court in response to Claim No. 105348. The Court finds that the answer and discovery demands on file with the Court to Claim No. 105348 are in fact responses to the instant Claim No. 105363.

As a result, although claimant contends that defendant has not responded to Claim No. 105363, the Court finds that the defendant has served and filed an answer (together with discovery demands) to this claim, even though an incorrect claim number has been referenced on such documents.

An affidavit of service is also on file, indicating that the Answer and Discovery Demands have been served on claimant.

Claimant's motion for summary judgment must therefore be denied, as the Court finds that there has been no default by the defendant. Similarly, since considerable confusion obviously exists among all parties as to the pleadings which have been served and filed on these respective claims, claimant cannot be considered to be in default in responding to defendant's discovery demands, and defendant's cross-motion must also be denied.

Due to the confusion which has been created in the two claims, the Court is simultaneously providing the parties with written directives as to the steps to be taken to ensure, from this point forward, that each claim is presented and prosecuted as provided by the Court of Claims Act and the Uniform Rules for the Court of Claims.

Based on the foregoing, therefore, it is

ORDERED, that Motion No. M-68523 is hereby DENIED; and it is further

ORDERED, that Cross-Motion No. CM-68572 is also denied.


September 8, 2004
Syracuse, New York

HON. NICHOLAS V. MIDEY JR.
Judge of the Court of Claims