STEEL v. THE STATE OF NEW YORK, #2005-016-007, Claim No. 100531
Liability was apportioned 2/3 to the State of New York for mistakenly releasing
an inmate who then committed violent felonies against claimants, to whom damages
LINDA STEEL, as Administratrix of the Estate of MICHELLE BREY, Deceased
Footnote (claimant name)
THE STATE OF NEW YORK
Footnote (defendant name)
ALAN C. MARIN
Parker & Waichman, EsqsBy: Andy Alonzo, Esq
Eliot Spitzer, Attorney GeneralBy: Denis J. McElligott, Esq., AAG
February 3, 2005
See also (multicaptioned
Stephanie Dillon was raped, and Michelle Brey raped and murdered, in a two-week
period in the fall of 1998. Both were victims of the same man, Franklin
Scruggs, who should have been in prison, but had been mistakenly released when
he was re-sentenced on one of the two sentences he had been serving
The Second Department has affirmed the Interim Order and Second Interim Order
in these cases.
By the terms of the Second Order, what remained for trial - - in addition to
damages - - was the apportionment of responsibility under CPLR Article 16
between the negligent defendant and the intentional tortfeasor, Mr.
Nonetheless, defendant was permitted to present evidence and argue that Ms. Brey
or Ms. Dillon was chargeable with comparative
At trial, forensic pathologist
Dr. Mark Taff took the stand, adding context to the autopsy report of Ms. Brey,
which had been part of the motion papers. Further, we heard the trial testimony
of Stephanie Dillon; her deposition had also been part of the motion papers.
autopsy indicated the use of cocaine shortly before her death, and a blood
alcohol concentration of 0.11%, beyond the then 0.10% limit in Vehicle &
Traffic Law §1192.2.
Brey went to a bar and the police had a report
that she was seen leaving with Scruggs some time after 1:30 a.m. (def exh A).
Ms. Dillon had gone to a different bar with two female friends of hers and when
one of them wanted to leave with Scruggs and his male friend, mainly to buy
drugs, Dillon went along because she did not want her friend to be alone; she
also needed a ride home. Dillon had no knowledge of Scruggs' violent history;
no evidence on this point exists as to Brey. In any event, no evidence was
elicited that would implicate comparative negligence by the late Ms. Brey or Ms.
The Court of Appeals has sustained the apportionment of
non-economic damages for personal injury between a negligent tortfeasor and an
intentional tortfeasor under CPLR Article 16. Chianese v Meier
, 98 NY2d
270, 746 NYS2d 657 (2002). Ms. Chianese was assaulted by an intruder who was
able to gain access to her apartment building because of a negligently
court offered no guidance when it reinstated the 50/50
allocation the jury had made between landlord and intruder.
David Siegel has observed in his Practice Review
When the unintentional conduct of X subjects someone to an assault by Y,
who is more at fault? One would be likely to assume the assailant is. Isn't it
possible, though, that X's conduct, while unintentional is so flagrant in
context that a larger share of fault can be imputed to X than to the
deliberately violent Y?
(Siegel's Practice Review
131, January 2003, p. 3).
Professor Siegel had earlier described as "egregious" the conduct of Nassau
County jail officials in placing an informer in the same jail housing unit as
the individual he informed on, who subsequently assaulted him. There had been a
note in the informer's inmate file not to house him with this individual, but
the jail staff failed to notice it. In Professor Siegel's view, the jury should
therefore be free to ascribe more than a 50% share to the County. The Court of
Appeals had decided that Article 16 was applicable in this
case, Rangolan v County of Nassau,
96 NY2d 42, 725 NYS2d 611
What was striking about the decision-making process that led to the mistaken
release of Franklin Scruggs was that it lacked oversight or any effective
managerial controls - -
highlighted by the number of state employees involved and the many opportunities
to catch the error. Defendant, in its motion papers, has conceded that the
communication passing between the defendant's employees was akin to "a game of
telephone" (Interim Order, p. 6). The mistake was never brought out by a system
of internal controls even after he was released - - that took additional
violent felonies by Scruggs.
Margaret Wolcott was, at the relevant time, inmate records coordinator for the
Great Meadow Correctional Facility in Washington County, with responsibility for
reviewing the commitment orders for the inmates at Great Meadow and calculating
time served. When she did so for Scruggs' commitment order signed by the clerk
of the court in Suffolk County: he was eligible for release.
But before the commitment order came across Ms. Wolcott's desk, she had seen
the Second Department's re-sentencing decision in
People v Scruggs
, 201 AD2d 514, 607 NYS2d 410 (2d Dept 1994) and properly
read its unambiguous text as vacating only one of his two concurrent 20-year to
life sentences. She wrote a letter on September 12, 1997 to Hugh Conroy, the
chief clerk of the Suffolk County court, which recognized that the vacateur was
only on one of the two sentences, inquiring of Conroy if Scruggs was going to be
re-sentenced on the vacated Reckless Endangerment charge (Interim Order, note
Mr. Conroy testified
that prior to the re-sentencing hearing before Judge Lefkowitz, he had received
either a call or letter from the "Department of Corrections that said that there
was a decision by an Appellate Court that indicated a re-sentence was
necessary in one of the counts on a particular indictment." Conroy said that he
called for the file, which contained the decision of the Second Department:
Q. And you know that having read the decision, that the Appellate Division
wants this fellow [re-sentenced] on one count?
In view of the foregoing, the fault is apportioned in both Steel
as follows: two-thirds (66 2/3%) on the part of the defendant
State of New York and one-third (33 1/3%) to Franklin Scruggs.
I. DAMAGES: LINDA STEEL for MICHELLE BREY
Pain and Suffering
The body of Michelle Brey was found in a wooded area above the beach in Rocky
at about 8:30 p.m. on Monday, October 12 (def exhs A and C). She was 35
years old. An autopsy was performed on Tuesday morning at 10 a.m. under the
direction of Dr. James C. Wilson, the Deputy Chief Medical Examiner of Suffolk
Dr. Taff, the forensic pathologist, based his testimony on
the Autopsy Report (cl exh 6); photographs from the autopsy taken by the Suffolk
County Medical Examiner's Office (nine of which were admitted as cl exhs 5, 5A,
5C-5G, 5I, and 5J); and three police reports (def exhs A-C). He also examined
sixteen glass slides that were representative sections of Brey's internal organs
with a microscope and matched-up his findings with those Dr. Wilson made in the
Autopsy Report. The conclusions Taff drew as to what Brey suffered before her
death were credibly based and went unchallenged:
- Ms. Brey was raped anally
and vaginally. Taff based this conclusion on the prominent contusions, shallow
lacerations and hemorrhaging at the vaginal entrance and the contusions in the
area of the anus as well as its dilation. (Cl exh 6, p. 9).
- Brey was
subject to a number of blunt force traumas; she was beaten up, although Dr. Taff
suggested she could have struck her head against a fixed object during the
assault. Brey had a broken jaw, a bruise by the corner of her left eye and
other bruises and abrasions on her body. Because of the swelling and
discoloration, the bruises were definitely antemortem, which does not
necessarily imply consciousness.
- Brey died of asphyxiation, not the blunt
. . . based on the autopsy report and the photographs of Ms. Brey as she was
received at the morgue untouched by the medical exam . . . she had part of this
jacket stuff[ed] into her throat and that it was tightly wrapped around her
neck. So it's a double process of asphyxia, one where there's a choking off of
blood around the neck and there's also an impossibility of breathing in air
through her mouth by having this object stuff [ed] into the oral cavity.
Dr. Taff testified that a person may fight for air until losing consciousness
from, at the low end, 15 to 20 seconds, to several minutes depending upon the
nature of the struggle. The fight for air, which Dr. Taff likened to choking on
food, is accompanied by fear of impending doom.
In Ms. Brey's case, Dr. Taff concluded the struggle until asphyxiation lasted
from two to five minutes,
"maybe even beyond."
In view of the above, I find that Michelle Brey's pain and suffering amounted
Pecuniary Loss A. Parental
Michelle Brey married Robert Rocheleau in 1986. They had three children:
Steven who was born in 1989, Michael born in 1991 and Robert in 1993
. The two split up about a year after the youngest of their three sons was
born. What is being measured here is the pecuniary loss suffered by the
children in "parental guidance . . . ‘nurture and care . . . physical,
moral and intellectual training . . . '" Zygmunt v Berkowitz
, 301 AD2d
593, 594, 754 NYS2d 313, 314 (2d Dept 2003) (citations omitted). Such loss is
to be distinguished from loss of companionship, mental anguish, sorrow or injury
to feelings, which are not compensable in a wrongful death action (EPTL
Ms. Brey, not Mr. Rocheleau, raised the boys. That was clear, not only from
the testimony of Brey's mother (Ms. Steel), sister (Laura Saklav), and a family
friend (Peter Lambiaso), but that of Rocheleau as well. At trial, her
ex-husband praised Michelle's care of the children during their marriage as
"excellent. I don't think a father could ask for any better care of his kids."
According to Ms. Steel and Mr. Lambiaso, when the couple moved from a lake
house owned by her family to their own house (both in Connecticut), Michelle did
just about everything, including painting. She had some help from her mother,
but virtually none from her husband.
When the couple separated, Rocheleau agreed that Michelle would have custody of
their children. Brey could not afford the house on her own, it was foreclosed
upon, and she and the three boys, then aged five, three, and one, moved into a
mobile home, also in Connecticut. She was an assistant food service manager at
a nursing home (Hillcrest) and then, when she and the boys moved to Long Island,
took a similar position in food service at SUNY-Stony Brook. Brey would only
take jobs that had on-site day care so that her children could be with her.
Michael, the middle son, recalled his mother bringing them snacks at day care
when she worked at the nursing home.
Ms. Steel stated that when living in the trailer, her daughter had no help,
"Michelle did everything." Her mother recalls a wintry day when Michelle was
working at Hillcrest:
I can remember the winter that I think Bobby was a year old, so they were
one, three and five and there was this terribly snowy winter . . . And she had
to get up in the morning, shovel out the driveway, shovel out her car, dress
three babies, get them into the car and be at work by about seven
Brey helped her sons with their school work, was there when they left for
school and when they came home, took them camping, signed them up for Little
League and soccer and drove them to and from these activities. Ms. Steel
testified that her daughter taught the boys everything from riding a bicycle to
playing computer games.
After a few years, Brey bought a condominium in Yaphank in Suffolk County.
Rocheleau described the condominium as "beautiful. The community was fantastic.
There were lots of kids their age. They had a beautiful pool complex . . . they
spent a great deal of time by the pool." He concluded that the boys were "very
happy." Steven, who was 15 years old at the time of this trial, testified that
his mother had had some help at the condo (besides her
Q. And in terms of just the day-to-day running of the household, who ran the
A. My mom. In Yaphank?
Q. Yes, sir.
A. And this other guy.
Q. What's the other fellow's name?
Q. All right, did Jeff and your mom stay together for a while?
A. Yeah, I'm pretty sure they were together.
The police report after Ms. Brey's body was found stated that the officers had
spoken with the decedent's mother, sister and "boyfriend Jeffrey Roderick" (def
When Brey was killed in 1998, Steven, Michael and Robert were nine, seven and
five years old, and the children came under the joint custody of their father
and grandmother, Ms. Steel, but they lived with Steel and her husband in
Malverne in Nassau County. At the time of Brey's death, Rocheleau was living in
the New York City metropolitan area. Steel made a room available to him, he had
a key to her house and would apparently visit fairly frequently. But, according
to Steel, that fell off within six months when he moved upstate to Plattsburgh,
and from then on, the boys would see their father at Christmas, a couple of
weeks in the summer and perhaps at spring break.
Ms. Steel talked about the effect on
Steven: in 2000, at the age of 11, he was going through a period where if he
did not know his father's whereabouts for three or four hours, he would begin to
hyperventilate - - "he had to know that his other parent was safe." In late
2003, Steven was doing poorly in school and when Steel inquired, responded that
he was unable to talk to her and that, in fact, he had no one to talk to.
Similarly, Michael, when asked on the stand what one particular thing he missed
about his mother, responded that "it's harder to talk to grandparents than your
actual mom and dad."
Steel continued that Steven became more withdrawn, was having stomach pains and
missed 45 days of school, in 2003. Steel also mentioned what she described
"very troublesome" relationships with two girls.
Dr. William Kirby, a psychologist, took the stand on behalf of claimant. Dr.
Kirby saw the three boys as a group for a while, and then individually for
different periods of time.
When asked about his sessions with Steven, Dr. Kirby responded that most of
these were group sessions and they would talk about their transition into their
grandmother's home, their anger with their mother's murderer and their
attachment to their father, who was not, as we have seen, living with them.
The doctor recalled Steven as a person who had to talk to his father daily to
make sure he was safe. In the beginning of 2004, Dr. Kirby said Steven had
started to develop psychosomatic problems as well as depression. Kirby stated
that he became obsessed with a young girl; that this clinging was an attempt to
replace what he had lost.
Dr. Kirby's conclusions were general and lacked medical certainty.
For example, "I would expect all of them to suffer recurrent bouts of
depression throughout life course." After explaining that Steven would become
anxious and engage in behavior in a relationship that would tend to push the
individual away as a test, Dr. Kirby said, "I suspect it will happen in the
other boys as they get into puberty and start forming relationships with the
opposite sex." When asked about how much guidance the boys would expect from
their grandmother, Dr. Kirby responded that such was open to question and has
not been well considered in the literature.
Michelle Brey was there for her children every day.
She worked exceptionally hard to raise them, and they could see this and learn
from it. With that said, parts of claimant's case approached, if not crossed,
the line between compensable guidance and noncompensable loss of companionship
and sorrow. There was very slight evidence on school work, and except
indirectly by their mother's exemplar, no testimony on moral, ethical or
religious teaching; no instance where Ms. Brey told her children that something
they did was wrong, why it was so and what to do instead.
No evidentiary foundation was established to go beyond the age of 21. (See
2:320). I conclude the amounts in damages for past and future loss
of guidance are as follows:
Steven (age 9 in October, 1998): $400,000
past; $300,000 future for six years;
Michael (age 7 in
October, 1998): $400,000 past; $400,000 future for eight years;
(age 5 in October, 1998): $400,000 past; $500,000 future for ten
years.B. Earnings and Household Services
Claimant called economist Dr. James Lambrinos as an expert witness to determine
Ms. Brey's lost wages. Dr. Lambrinos used the following: i) her highest
annual wages, which were earned in 1996 at Hillcrest Nursing Home, namely,
$24,718; ii) alternate annual rates of wage inflation, 3.56% and 4.24%; iii) a
lost earnings period of 15.25 years, or until the youngest child reached age 21;
and iv) a figure of 24.4% to account for what would have been Ms. Brey's own
personal consumption, to be subtracted from the total. Utilizing the 3.56%
annual wage increase, which more accurately reflects the recent effects of
inflation, the economist's figure of $491,577 less $119,945 for Ms. Brey's
consumption, yields a net of
Defendant did not call an economist. Defendant's cross-examination did not
elicit any information to affect my conclusion that using the 3.56% annual wage
increase, the 1996 Hillcrest wages as the benchmark and the youngest child's
period of time to age 21 was unreasonable.
Lambrinos did not break his result into the past and future. Slightly
less than 6 years lapsed from Brey's death to trial; with a total period used by
the economist of 15.25 years, an adequate approximation allocates two-fifths to
the past and three-fifths the future: $148,653
past lost earnings and
$222,979 future lost earnings for nine years.
As far as
losses for household services, no evidence was presented of any services lost,
and if so, the cost of replacing them. Schultz v Harrison Radiator Div.
General Motors Corp.
, 90 NY2d 311, 320-321, 660 NYS2d 685, 689 (1997);
Kastick v U-Haul Company of Western Michigan
, 292 AD2d 797, 799, 740
NYS2d 167, 170 (4th Dept 2002).
In sum, claimant is entitled to the following damages:
Brey's pain and suffering $850,000
Loss of parental guidance 1,200,000
$2,198,653 Total Past
Loss of parental guidance $300,000 for six years;
400,000 for eight years; and
500,000 for ten years.
222,979 for nine years
$1,422,979 Total Future
The claimant Linda Steel as the Administratrix of the Estate of Michelle Brey
(claim no. 100531) is awarded a total of $2,198,653 in past damages and
$1,422,979 for future damages. The Clerk of the Court is directed to hold in
abeyance the judgment of $3,621,632
pending a hearing under Article 50-B of the CPLR, which will be
scheduled by the Court.
II. DAMAGES: STEPHANIE DILLON
In the fall of 1998, Stephanie Dillon, who was divorced, was living in Port
Jefferson Station in Suffolk County with her mother and two daughters, ages six
and two. She worked from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m., "pretty much every day," at a food
store in nearby Mt. Sinai. Ms. Dillon had worked on Saturday, September 26,
1998 and, as noted at the beginning of this decision, went to a bar that evening
with two of her friends. The children were left with a babysitter, a longtime
friend of Dillon's, John Buongiovanni, who lived in Selden, and Dillon intended
to pick them up at 11 p.m.
Claimant left the bar because she did not want her friend Angie to accompany
two men by herself - - Scruggs and his friend,
Dillon also needed a ride.
The four were driven by Derek in his car
toward a Bay Shore friend's house to buy drugs for himself and Angie. They then
drove back to Port Jefferson Station, where Derek and Angie went to a motel.
Scruggs offered to drive Dillon home to pick up her children at the babysitter's
in Selden. About two hours had elapsed since leaving the bar; it was about 11
Dillon thought that she was going to be dropped off right away, and Scruggs
would buy beer and cigarettes and return to the motel. Scruggs started driving,
but did not take the direct route to Selden, which was only ten minutes away; he
drove the back roads, stopping for beer and cigarettes. Scruggs then took a
very secluded, wooded road, drove to a side street, parked the car and shut the
At this point, Ms. Dillon, who knew where she was and could walk to her
destination, said she wanted to get out. Scruggs started the car up, rolled up
the windows, first went the wrong way down a one-way street and then turned the
vehicle around and headed into the woods. He cursed,
"[n]ow we're going my fucking way." Claimant said, "I panicked . . . I was
trying to kick at the windshield and the passenger window to get out of the car
which I couldn't." Then she tried unsuccessfully to jump out of the open window
on the driver's side.
Scruggs opened the car door, claimant had " fallen out on my head"
; he grabbed her throat and got on top of her with his knees on her chest.
Dillon pleaded, "Please don't kill me. I have two kids." Scruggs said, "I'm
going to fucking kill you." With his knees on her chest and his hand on her
throat, Scruggs started to undress her; Dillon recalls that she tried to get his
hand off her throat because she could not breath. He dragged her to the hood of
the car, slammed her head on the car and punched claimant in the face, stomach
and chest, doing "a lot" of both.
Scruggs was still choking her, but she remained conscious. Scruggs then raped
threw her in the back seat; she was naked, and he had a beer and a cigarette.
Claimant believed she was going to be killed, so she asked for a sip of beer and
threw the bottle into the woods intending it to serve as evidence to be
discovered later. Scruggs began slamming her head on the car, and punched and
choked her, while raping her again:
I couldn't hear anymore. I was looking up at the trees . . . I asked God
to let me see my kids one more time before I left the earth because I knew I was
going to die . . . I went unconscious.
When Dillon came to, Scruggs was punching her, and he then picked her up by the
throat, threw her to the ground, kicked her and dragged her into the car. He
drove back to the motel, a drive of five or ten minutes. When he arrived,
Scruggs warned, "Don't say a fucking thing. Don't tell anybody what happened."
Dillon told Angie, and Scruggs started screaming. Derek said
claimant should take the car and drive home with Angie.
to get in the car without Angie; when she turned around, Scruggs was there. He
put his hand to her throat and told her to shut up and drive to a particular
address. Then he took the wheel, and drove back towards the woods, saying he
had to look for a ring he had lost. Dillon started kicking on the windows and
screaming; Scruggs then drove back to the motel.
Claimant left the motel, started walking quickly down the road, and made a
phone call to Buongiovanni. She started crying; the babysitter offered to come
get her, then Angie and Derek pulled up in the car and Derek told claimant to
get in. When Dillon climbed into the back seat, Scruggs was there and he tried
to act as if nothing had happened. Claimant finally arrived at the babysitter's
house at quarter to five in the morning.
Dillon took her daughters home, fell asleep and when she awoke, said she could
not physically move and had
"bruises all over me, my legs, my arms, my face, my neck was swollen, my back,
my chest, my stomach, my hands." She also was suffering from a toothache that
likely was related to the assault.
Claimant did not return to work because she was afraid that Scruggs knew where
she was employed. He also knew where she lived, and Dillon was fearful for
herself and the children, keeping them close by in the yard. She did not leave
the house for a week, and then only to have the tooth pulled. Claimant stated
that once Scruggs was in custody, she was no longer afraid. Dillon slept on the
living room couch for a month because the pain in her back and knees prevented
her from climbing the stairs to the bedroom; she experienced head pains for six
months after the attack.
After the rape, Dillon had nightmares and flashbacks about it. She drank more
and harder alcohol and used drugs to mask the memory. Dillon secured a job
cooking at McArthur Airport; she liked working because she would be too busy to
think of the rape.
In 1999, claimant began a two-year relationship with a Joseph Colon, by whom
she had a son on March 6, 2000. The relationship ended April 18, 2001, the day
he raped her eldest daughter. Dillon lost custody of her children on April 24,
2001 because of neglect and misuse of alcohol. She did not get her son back
until May 20, 2004 and her daughters a month later.
Dillon participated in a rehabilitation program which she completed in July
2003 and to date, has taken no drugs and used alcohol only once. Since January
2004, she has lived in her own two-bedroom apartment in West Babylon. Just
before trial in early August, 2004, claimant had taken a leave from her job at
Right Touch Deli in West Babylon, which she had started in February with the
understanding that she would return; she needed time to get her daughters
situated in school and attend to her son's heart condition.
Ms. Dillon still has nightmares about being violently assaulted, has avoided
dealing with people and is friends now only with her sister. She said that in
September of 2002,
"I was going to go in front of a truck on a highway . . . I didn't want to be
alive anymore. . . because the woman [Michelle Brey] was murdered. Why did I
live . . .for my daughter to be raped." Her daughter's rape intensified her
re-living Scruggs' sexual assault.
Claimant called to the stand Dr. Stephen Reich, a clinical psychologist with a
private practice and faculty appointment. He also is the clinical director of
the Forensic Psychology Group, which is a nationwide group of psychologists that
Dr. Reich trains and supervises to provide forensic psychological evaluations.
Dr. Reich, who saw Ms. Dillon on March 15, 2004, diagnosed her with post
traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and major depressive disorder.
Reich concluded that the stress disorder was permanent, but was more
guarded as to the time frame the depression would last. Dr. Reich testified
that claimant's PTSD symptoms were flashbacks, nightmares, bad dreams, and fear
of approaching the geography where she was raped. On the depressive disorder,
the doctor said he observed, in addition to feelings of depression, problems
sleeping and concentrating.
Defendant put no psychologist or psychiatrist on the stand, which does not mean
that Dr. Reich's views are necessarily adopted as given
1:90). Reich himself noted that the rape of claimant's daughter was
a "profound event and it certainly caused depression in her. There's no
question about it." Dr. Reich compared Dillon's re-living her rape to that of a
case he had involving a child who was raped at age 5 and age 11. By the time of
the August, 2004 trial, claimant had been off drugs and alcohol for a year,
was living in her own two-bedroom apartment and, after her appointment with Dr.
Reich, had had her children returned to her.
Reich acknowledged Dillon's strength and mental toughness, explaining how she
had overcome her difficult childhood, which he described as "straight out of
She was not permitted to play, instead she cleaned; Dillon was not allowed to
use the washer and dryer in her parents' house, but had to go out to a
laundromat to wash her clothing. Yet Dr. Reich concluded that "she functioned
beautifully." As she told him, "I had to function." Dr. Reich reported that in
high school, claimant was not very social and did not have a network of friends;
her social relationships were with one friend at a time.
In view of the above, I find that Ms. Dillon's past pain and suffering amounts
to $1,300,000. Dillon was born in 1973, at the time of trial was 31 years old
and has a life expectancy of 49 years.
By 2004, claimant had begun getting her life in order; as Dr. Reich observed she
had in the past surmounted difficulties and functioned well, and this was
evident on the witness stand, from which Dillon projected a resolute character.
While claimant will not likely ever be completely free of the memory of her rape
and beating, her future damages amount to less than those attributable to the
rape and the six years leading up to this trial: the future pain and suffering
amounts to $650,000.
The claimant Stephanie Dillon (claim no. 100814) is awarded a total of
$1,300,000 in damages for past pain and suffering and $650,000 for future pain
and suffering. The Clerk of the Court is directed to hold in abeyance the
judgment of $1,950,000 pending a hearing under Article 50-B of the CPLR, which
will be scheduled by the Court.
February 3, 2005
York, New York
HON. ALAN C. MARIN
Judge of the Court of Claims
 Steel v State of New York
with Dillon v State of New York
), 307 AD2d 919, 762 NYS2d 883 (2d Dept
2003); and with the identical caption at 11 AD3d 673, 782 NYS2d 924 (2d Dept
Claimants and defendant had agreed that the
two cases would be procedurally joined, although tried separately, with some
evidence in common, in consecutive weeks.
We have no last names, or for that matter
initials, for Angie or Derek.