New York State Court of Claims

New York State Court of Claims

MORGADO v. THE STATE OF NEW YORK, #2007-016-041, Claim No. 108120, Motion No. M-72875


Synopsis



Case Information

UID:
2007-016-041
Claimant(s):
VICTOR MORGADO and SYLVIA MORGADO
Claimant short name:
MORGADO
Footnote (claimant name) :

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

Third-party claimant(s):

Third-party defendant(s):

Claim number(s):
108120
Motion number(s):
M-72875
Cross-motion number(s):

Judge:
Alan C. Marin
Claimant’s attorney:
Joram J. Aris, Esq.
Defendant’s attorney:
Andrew M. Cuomo, Attorney GeneralBy: Gail P. Pierce-Siponen, Esq., AAG
Third-party defendant’s attorney:

Signature date:
September 17, 2007
City:
New York
Comments:

Official citation:

Appellate results:

See also (multicaptioned case)



Decision

Defendant moves for summary judgment dismissing the claim of Victor and Sylvia Morgado.[1] In such claim, it is alleged that on August 19, 2002, Mr. Morgado, who was employed as a court interpreter by the State of New York, was assaulted by Eugene Ruiz, another court interpreter employed by the State, at Civil Court, Bronx County. Specifically, it is alleged that Ruiz injured claimant’s right hand when he “grabbed [it] . . . hard . . . and pressed and pinched and twisted and wrenched” it, saying, “ ‘[t]his is for you to stop painting’ because you’re a painter.” Claim, ¶22. Workers’ Compensation is the exclusive remedy for an employee seeking recompense for on-the-job injury (WCL §11); a few limited exceptions to this exclusivity obtain, for example, if an employee is injured by the intentional tort of a co-employee at the direction of their employer, the employer will be subject to tort liability. See, e.g., Martinez v Canteen Vending Services Roux Fine Dining Chartwheel, 18 AD3d 274, 795 NYS2d 16 (1st Dept 2005); Hahne v State of New York, 290 AD2d 858, 736 NYS2d 761 (3d Dept 2002). There is no evidence on the record that the actions of Ruiz were “directed or instigated” by the State. Martinez, supra, 18 AD3d at 275, 795 NYS2d at 18. Nor is there any evidence that Ruiz was acting other than for personal motives. See, e.g., Conde v Yeshiva University, 16 AD3d 185, 187, 792 NYS2d 387, 389 (1st Dept 2005); Hahne, supra, 290 AD2d at 859, 736 NYS2d at 763.

Finally, to the extent claimant alleges that prior actions of Ruiz would support a cause of action for negligent supervision and retention, the First Department has rejected the argument that the exclusivity of Workers’ Compensation can be overridden by such a cause of action. See Conde, supra, and Martinez, supra.

In view of the foregoing, having reviewed the submissions[2], IT IS ORDERED that motion no. M-72875 be granted and that claim no. 108120 be dismissed.



September 17, 2007
New York, New York

HON. ALAN C. MARIN
Judge of the Court of Claims




  1. [1]As the claim of Sylvia Morgado is derivative in nature, references herein will be to Victor Morgado in the singular, unless the context indicates otherwise.
[2].The following were reviewed: Defendant’s Notice of Motion with Affirmation in Support, exhibits A through I and Memorandum of Law in Support; and Claimants’ Affidavit in Opposition with exhibits 1 through 3.