New York State Court of Claims

New York State Court of Claims

SUMPTER v. THE STATE OF NEW YORK, #2006-030-565, Claim No. 110098, Motion No. M-70795


Synopsis



Case Information

UID:
2006-030-565
Claimant(s):
JON SUMPTER
Claimant short name:
SUMPTER
Footnote (claimant name) :

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

Third-party claimant(s):

Third-party defendant(s):

Claim number(s):
110098
Motion number(s):
M-70795
Cross-motion number(s):

Judge:
THOMAS H. SCUCCIMARRA
Claimant’s attorney:
JON SUMPTER, PRO SE
Defendant’s attorney:
HON. ELIOT SPITZER, NEW YORK STATE ATTORNEY GENERAL
BY: DEWEY LEE, ASSISTANT ATTORNEY GENERAL
Third-party defendant’s attorney:

Signature date:
August 31, 2006
City:
White Plains
Comments:

Official citation:

Appellate results:

See also (multicaptioned case)



Decision

The following papers numbered 1 to 5 were read and considered on Claimant’s motion to


amend his claim to increase the ad damnum clause:

1,2 Notice of Motion for Leave to Amend Complaint (sic); Affidavit in Support of Motion for Leave to Amend and/or Correct Complaint (sic) by Jon Sumpter, Claimant and attachments

  1. Letter to Court from Dewey Lee, Assistant Attorney General, dated June 5, 2006
4,5 Filed Papers: Claim, Answer

A pleading in the Court of Claims may be amended in accordance with the provisions of Civil Practice Law and Rules § 3025(b). See 22 NYCRR § 206.7 (b). Although leave to amend should be freely given, the determination is left to the sound discretion of the Court. The Court should consider whether there would be any prejudice to the opposing party; any effect an amendment would have on the orderly prosecution of the action; whether the moving party unduly delayed in seeking to add the new allegations; and whether the proposed amendment is palpably improper or insufficient as a matter of law. Where the proposed amendment lacks merit as a matter of law, or where amendment would be immaterial, among other things, the Court should deny leave based upon such legal insufficiency. A copy of the proposed amended Claim should generally be included, as well as any factual affidavits or exhibits that “. . . unequivocally make out a prima facie basis for the claim . . . or other matter now sought to be added . . . ” [Siegal, Practice Commentaries (McKinneys Cons Laws of NY, Book 7B C3025:11); Civil Practice Law and Rules § 3025].

Jon Sumpter alleges in Claim number 110098, among other things, that Defendant’s agents failed to provide him with adequate medical care while he was incarcerated at Downstate Correctional Facility, and caused him further harm by assigning him the top bunk in a cell, from which he fell and suffered injury on or about November 17, 2003, despite a documented medical condition suggesting he should be placed in a different location. The ad damnum clause of the claim seeks $18,000.00 for “immediate/continuing physical pain/injury”; $2,000.00 for “emotional anguish/related stress”; $18,000.00 for future medical care; and $5,000.00 for future pain and suffering. [Claim Number 110098].

Claimant now asserts that when he commenced this claim the full extent of his injuries as a result of Defendant’s negligence was unknown. He has now learned that he will never again be gainfully employed and that he is totally and permanently disabled. He asks to increase the amounts asserted in the claim with respect to all items of damages, and has attached a page of a proposed amended claim relative to the amount demanded.

Although increasing the dollar amount demanded is readily the subject of a trial motion to conform the pleadings to the proof [See Civil Practice Law and Rules §3025(c)], it may nonetheless be accomplished in this fashion as well and avoids surprise. From the context, the other papers and discovery herein, it is evident that there is no prejudice or opposition to the relief requested herein, and Claimant’s motion to amend his claim [M-70795] is granted.

Wherefore, it is hereby

ORDERED, that the relevant portion of paragraph 19 of the claim, is hereby amended to read:
“ITEMS OF DAMAGES/ INJURY
19. Amount of damages sought by the claimant are as follows:

(a) Monetary Damages
(a)(1) immediate /continuing physical pain/injury $50,000.00
(a)(2) emotional anguish/related stress 32,000.00
(b) Prospective Future Damages
(b)(1) doctors bills/medical expenses 18,000.00
(b)(2) future pain/suffering 35,000.00


WHEREFORE, claimant demands Judgement against the defendant for said amount, together with the statutory costs/interests and actual disbursements of this action.”







August 31, 2006
White Plains, New York

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