New York State Court of Claims

New York State Court of Claims

MALDONADO v. THE STATE OF NEW YORK, #2006-030-517, Claim No. 111085, Motion No. M-70935


Synopsis



Case Information

UID:
2006-030-517
Claimant(s):
CHRISTINE MALDONADO and AMANDA MARIE RODRIGUEZ (an infant by her mother and natural guardian CHRISTINE MALDONADO)
Claimant short name:
MALDONADO
Footnote (claimant name) :

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

Third-party claimant(s):

Third-party defendant(s):

Claim number(s):
111085
Motion number(s):
M-70935
Cross-motion number(s):

Judge:
THOMAS H. SCUCCIMARRA
Claimant's attorney:
GARBARINI & SCHER, P.C.
Defendant's attorney:
HON. ELIOT SPITZER, NEW YORK STATE ATTORNEY GENERALBY: ELLEN MATOWIK, ASSISTANT ATTORNEY GENERAL
Third-party defendant's attorney:

Signature date:
February 22, 2006
City:
White Plains
Comments:

Official citation:

Appellate results:

See also (multicaptioned case)



Decision

The following papers numbered 1 to 3 were read and considered on the Defendant's pre-answer motion to dismiss the within claim brought pursuant to Civil Practice Law and Rules §§3211 and/or 3212 and Court of Claims Act §§ 9 and 10:
1,2 Notice of Motion; Affirmation in Support by Ellen Matowik, Assistant Attorney General and attached exhibits

  1. Filed papers: Claim
No opposition filed

Christine Maldonado states in Claim number 111085 that on April 13, 2005 she was shot in her home by her live-in partner, Jose Machado, with a gun issued to him by his alleged employer, the State of New York. After shooting Claimant, Christine Maldonado, three (3) times, he fatally shot himself. She alleges that Mr. Machado was employed as a security guard at the Hunts Point Terminal Market, and that the State of New York was negligent, among other things, in its hiring, retention and supervision, and in allowing a dangerous instrumentality to be carried by its employee off the premises and outside the scope of his employment.

Defendant now moves to dismiss because neither the Hunts Point Terminal Produce Cooperative Association, Inc. nor the City of New York is a proper party in the Court of Claims, and it is these entities, rather than the State of New York, who may be implicated in the underlying personal injury action.

As established without contradiction in Defendant's moving papers, Mr. Machado was apparently employed by the Hunts Point Cooperative Association as a Duty Officer, a position requiring the use of a firearm and, concomitantly, a pistol permit issued by the City of New York Police Department. [Affirmation in Support, Exhibit B]. The State of New York has no involvement in the Hunts Point Terminal Market. The Hunts Point Terminal Produce Cooperative Association, Inc. is an entity that is a domestic not-for-profit corporation that may be sued in its own name [ibid. Exhibit C], and leases property from the City of New York. [ibid. Exhibit F]. Additionally, if there is any nexus to a governmental entity, such a connection would be to the City of New York through one of its economic development or small business agencies or the police department, not the State of New York. [ibid. Exhibits D and E].

The Court of Claims is a court of limited subject matter jurisdiction, and may hear lawsuits for money damages against the State of New York and its agencies, and certain public authorities sued in their own right. See Court of Claims Act §9. While the Claimants here have named the State of New York as the defendant in their pleading, no cause of action is made out against the State of New York, in that it appears from the submissions made that the allegations of wrongdoing are based on actions taken by either or both the City of New York and the Hunts Point Terminal Cooperative Market.

The Court lacks subject matter jurisdiction over this claim because it does not have jurisdiction over the City of New York, the New York City Police Department or the various corporate incarnations of the Hunts Point Terminal Market, or any individual employee thereof.

For all the above reasons, Defendant's motion to dismiss [M-70935] is in all respects granted and Claim Number 111085 is hereby dismissed in its entirety.


February 22, 2006
White Plains, New York

HON. THOMAS H. SCUCCIMARRA
Judge of the Court of Claims