New York State Court of Claims

New York State Court of Claims

GILL v. THE STATE OF NEW YORK, #2004-031-047, Claim No. 103749, Motion No. M-67451


Synopsis


Case Information

UID:
2004-031-047
Claimant(s):
ANTHONY G. GILL
Claimant short name:
GILL
Footnote (claimant name) :

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

Third-party claimant(s):

Third-party defendant(s):

Claim number(s):
103749
Motion number(s):
M-67451
Cross-motion number(s):

Judge:
RENÉE FORGENSI MINARIK
Claimant's attorney:
ANTHONY G. GILL, PRO SE
Defendant's attorney:
HON. ELIOT SPITZER
New York State Attorney General
BY: TIMOTHY P. MULVEY, ESQ.Assistant Attorney General
Third-party defendant's attorney:

Signature date:
March 12, 2004
City:
Rochester
Comments:

Official citation:

Appellate results:

See also (multicaptioned case)



Decision

The following papers, numbered 1 to 5, were read on motion by Defendant for sanctions against Claimant for filing a frivolous claim:
1) Defendant's Notice of Motion, filed September 24, 2003;
2) Affirmation of Timothy P. Mulvey, Esq., dated September 23, 2003, with attached exhibit;
3) Defendant's undated Memorandum of Law;
  1. Claimant's Affidavit (denominated Affirmation), sworn to November 4, 2003, with attached exhibit;
5) Filed Documents: Claim. With this motion, Defendant seeks sanctions against Claimant for filing a frivolous claim pursuant to § 130-1.1 of the Rules of the Chief Administrative Judge. In his underlying claim in this action, Claimant sought damages against the State, alleging that Defendant had negligently failed to hand-deliver medications to him. According to Claimant, Defendant directed another inmate to deliver two medications, Maalox and a hydrocortisone cream, to Claimant in violation of prison protocol that required these medications to be hand-delivered by a medical care provider. According to Claimant, this other inmate tampered with at least the Maalox that was delivered. Claimant alleged that, after taking some of the Maalox and noting that it neither looked nor tasted the way it should, he became violently ill. Claimant alleged that if Defendant had not failed to follow proper protocol, this other inmate would not have had the opportunity to tamper with his medication.

I tried the case on September 25, 2003, and after trial dismissed the claim finding that Claimant had failed to demonstrate that Defendant had acted negligently and that his alleged injuries were proximately related to the alleged negligent act.

With this motion, Defendant has submitted a well-crafted motion and admirably presented the law appropriate for such an application. Defendant has demonstrated that Claimant is, indeed, one of the most, if not the most, litigious inmate in the State's history. And while I do not doubt Defendant's proof that many of Claimant's previous lawsuits were frivolous, and sanctions against such a litigious inmate for a frivolous claim are certainly appropriate, in this instance at least, I find that the claim was not frivolous. Had Claimant been able to sustain his burden, that Defendant negligently violated protocol by permitting another inmate to distribute Claimant's medication, and Claimant suffered injuries resulting from that inmate's tampering with the medication, the State could have been liable in damages. The fact that I found Claimant was unable to meet his burden does not mean that his claim was frivolous.

Accordingly, it is hereby

ORDERED, that Defendant's motion for sanctions against Claimant is denied.

March 12, 2004
Rochester, New York

HON. RENÉE FORGENSI MINARIK
Judge of the Court of Claims