New York State Court of Claims

New York State Court of Claims

MOSLEY v. THE STATE OF NEW YORK, #2004-034-512, Claim No. 107378, Motion No. M-67660


Case Information

Claimant short name:
Footnote (claimant name) :

Footnote (defendant name) :

Third-party claimant(s):

Third-party defendant(s):

Claim number(s):
Motion number(s):
Cross-motion number(s):

Claimant's attorney:
Defendant's attorney:
New York State Attorney General
BY: THOMAS G. RAMSAY, ESQ.Assistant Attorney General
Third-party defendant's attorney:

Signature date:
March 1, 2004

Official citation:

Appellate results:

See also (multicaptioned case)


Claimant filed this motion pursuant to CPLR 3124 seeking to compel disclosure of various reports and records. The Court hereby grants the motion in part and denies the motion in part.

The Court has considered the following papers in connection with this motion:

1. Claim, verified February 18, 2003, filed February 24, 2003;
2. Answer, affirmed March 14, 2003, filed March 17, 2003;

3. Claimant's Notice for Discovery and Production of Documents and Things for Inspection, dated March 28, 2003, filed April 24, 2003;

4. Defendant's Response to Demands, dated April 8, 2003, filed April 10, 2003;
5. Claimant's Interrogatories, dated April 21, 2003, filed April 24, 2003;

6. Defendant's Response to Interrogatories, dated May 12, 2003, filed May 14, 2003;

7. Claimant's Interrogatories, dated September 4, 2003, filed September 10, 2003;

8. Defendant's Response to Interrogatories, dated October 3, 2003, filed October 6, 2003;
9. Notice of Motion, dated October 26, 2003, filed November 6, 2003;

10. Affidavit of Osiris Mosley[1], sworn to October 26, 2003; filed November 6, 2003, with attached Memorandum of Law;

11. Affirmation in Opposition of Thomas G. Ramsay, dated November 25, 2003, filed November 28, 2003.

Claimant has sought to recover for injuries allegedly sustained in three incidents during January 2003, while incarcerated at Wyoming Correctional Facility. Mr. Mosley was a worker on the prison farm and claims to have been repeatedly attacked by an overly aggressive cow. He has alleged that Defendant was negligent by its failure to provide a safe work place. The Claim was filed on February 24, 2003, and following Defendant's Answer, Claimant served a "Notice for Discovery and Production of Documents and Things for Inspection" on or about March 28, 2003. Defendant objected to two of the four demands claiming that records of other inmates could not be disclosed without a court order or notarized authorization from the inmate. Claimant has now sought an order compelling the disclosure of the following:
  1. All injury reports 5 years prior to the date of the incidents alleged in this claim, specifically incidents that occured [sic] on the Wyoming Correctional Facility Farm.
  2. Training reports for inmates who worked at the Wyoming Correctional Facility Farm, 5 years prior to the incident alleged.
Despite Defendant's original basis for noncompliance with demands three and four in its Response to Demands, the objection for purposes of this motion is that Claimant's demands are vague and overly broad. However, records of prior accidents are admissible and discoverable in a negligence action whether offered as proof of prior notice or as proof of a dangerous condition (Coan v Long Is. R.R., 246 AD2d 569), as long as the relevant conditions of the subject accident and the previous ones are substantially similar (Hyde v County of Rensselaer, 51 NY2d 927). It is within the Court's discretion to prune a demand that is not palpably improper, rather than to vacate it (Woods v Alexander, 270 AD2d 850; cf., Lerner v 300 W. 17th St. Hous. Dev. Fund Corp., 232 AD2d 249). The Court will restrict the scope of the demand to reports of incidents on the Wyoming Correctional Facility farm from November 19, 2000[2] through January 29, 2003. Further, those reports will be limited to incidents involving the cow alleged to have injured Claimant. Names of other prisoners are to be redacted from those reports.

Item four of the demand will be denied as irrelevant. Through interrogatories Claimant has obtained information regarding the general training procedures for prison farm workers, together with records regarding his own training procedure. Training records for other inmates will not sharpen issues, reduce delay and prolixity or otherwise assist in Claimant's preparation for trial (see Allen v Crowell-Collier Publishing Co., 21 NY2d 403, 406-407).

Based on the foregoing, Defendant is ordered to produce responsive documents as described in this Decision and Order within 45 days of the filing date of this Decision and Order.

March 1, 2004
Buffalo, New York

Judge of the Court of Claims

  1. [1]In submissions submitted herein Claimant has variously used the names Elton Mosley and Osiris Mosley.
The date shall correspond to the birth date of cow involved in the incident.