Correspondence to Claimant from G. Lawrence Dillon, Esq., Assistant Attorney
General, dated April 20, 2004 14
In his filed claim, claimant seeks damages for personal injuries allegedly
suffered by him during an altercation with another inmate at Mid-State
Correctional Facility on November 23, 2001. Claimant suffered injuries when he
struck his head on a cast iron radiator at the facility during this altercation.
Prior to these motions, each party had served discovery demands, with the State
having responded to claimant's demands on or about October 21, 2003, and
claimant having responded to the State's discovery demands on or about October
With his responses, claimant also served a Demand for Interrogatories, to which
the State did not respond. Claimant brought a prior motion in this Court
(Motion No. M-67754) seeking an order compelling the defendant to answer those
interrogatories. By a decision and order dated February 24, 2004, this Court
denied claimant's motion and vacated those interrogatories.
Claimant has now instituted the within four motions, all pertaining to certain
aspects of discovery.
MOTION NO. M-68110
In this motion, claimant seeks an order compelling defendant to produce certain
documents. Specifically, claimant seeks (1) production of a letter that he
wrote to the superintendent of Mid-State Correctional Facility after the
incident of November 23, 2001, in which he requested criminal charges be brought
against his assailant; (2) the report of an interview which was conducted of
claimant regarding this request; and (3) a photograph of claimant taken on
November 23, 2001, which purportedly showed his injuries.
Claimant's request to have criminal charges brought against his assailant is
totally irrelevant to any inquiry which will be made by this Court in
determining whether the State is liable for the injuries suffered by claimant in
this incident. Accordingly, claimant's request for production of his
correspondence to the superintendent, as well as the report of the interview
conducted of him, are immaterial to this litigation and need not be produced.
However, any photograph of claimant's injuries allegedly suffered in this
altercation is certainly relevant to the issue of damages, should the State
ultimately be found liable in negligence. The Court notes that in his responses
to these various motions, defendant's attorney has indicated that officials at
Mid-State Correctional Facility, to date, have been unable to locate any such
photograph(s). When, or if, such photograph or photographs are located,
defendant is hereby ordered to provide claimant with a copy of each such
photograph within 20 days of such discovery.
MOTION NO. M-68164
In this motion, claimant seeks an order compelling the defendant to respond to
interrogatories directed to two employees at Mid-State Correctional Facility.
In its prior order (Motion No. M-67754), this Court had vacated interrogatories
previously served by claimant. The interrogatories which are the subject of
this motion are similar in nature to those interrogatories which had been
vacated by this Court in that prior order, and accordingly, these
interrogatories are also vacated.
In doing so, the Court notes that defendant's attorney has, in his response to
this motion (see Item No. 7), provided claimant with responses to these
interrogatories, providing claimant with such information to which he is
entitled in his prosecution of this claim.
MOTION NO. M-68277
In this motion, claimant seeks the production of certain documents pursuant to
CPLR 3120. Specifically, claimant requests (A) the Tier II hearing transcript
and disposition sheet from the disciplinary hearing conducted at Mid-State
Correctional Facility following the incident on November 23, 2001; and (B) a
listing of the "Report of Injury" forms for any injuries sustained by inmates
involving all cast iron radiators throughout the correctional facility for the
past 15 years.
In response, defendant's attorney has indicated to claimant that the hearing
transcript and disposition sheet, as well as other material from the Tier II
hearing, are available to claimant at his request from the Inmate Records
Coordinator at his facility.
With regard to the "Report of Injury" forms requested by claimant, defendant
has established, to the satisfaction of this Court, that such records are not
maintained by the facility in a manner which would enable records of this type
to be readily produced. The Court hereby finds that such request would create
an unduly burdensome requirement upon facility officials in order to locate and
compile any such records, and this demand is therefore also denied.
MOTION NO. M-68331
In this motion, claimant has requested the identical documents as requested in
Motion No. M-68277. Based on the foregoing considerations, this motion is also
Accordingly, it is
ORDERED, that Motion Nos. M-68164, M-68277, and M-68331 are all hereby DENIED
in their entirety; and it is further
ORDERED, that defendant shall produce to claimant any photograph(s) purporting
to show his injuries suffered in the incident of November 23, 2001, should such
photograph(s) exist, and the remaining aspects of Motion No. M-68110 are hereby