New York State Court of Claims

New York State Court of Claims

HIDALGO v. THE STATE OF NEW YORK, #2008-016-011, Claim No. 106611


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):

Alan C. Marin
Claimant’s attorney:
Manuel Hidalgo, Pro Se
Defendant’s attorney:
Andrew M. Cuomo, Attorney GeneralBy: Roberto Barbosa, Esq., AAG
Third-party defendant’s attorney:

Signature date:
March 20, 2008
New York

Official citation:

Appellate results:

See also (multicaptioned case)


This decision follows the trial of the claim of Manuel Hidalgo, in which Mr. Hidalgo alleges that the State deviated from accepted medical practices in connection with treatment he received for a cyst on his scalp while he was incarcerated at Woodbourne Correctional Facility.

Claimant testified that while at Woodbourne, his head hurt, and he went to the facility medical clinic. According to claimant, no medication was initially prescribed, and he returned to the clinic for a second appointment, after which surgery was performed. He recalled that he had fourteen stitches on the back of his head. Hidalgo testified that as of the time of trial, he still had pain, but that he is not getting any medication, and that he gets no response to his requests to see a doctor. Claimant maintains that the surgery should not have been performed by a Woodbourne physician, but rather by a “specialist.”

Dr. Frank Lancellotti testified that he has been a physician at Woodbourne since May of 1992, and is board certified in internal medicine. Dr. Lancellotti said that he was familiar with claimant, whom he had treated. Lancellotti stated that he examined claimant on June 22, 2001. At that time, Hidalgo complained of a cyst on his scalp, explaining that when he lay on his bed, he felt pressure on the back of his head, so he wanted the cyst removed. Dr. Lancellotti thus scheduled claimant for an excision of the cyst, which procedure he performed on July 19, 2001.

Asked why he had performed the procedure himself, rather than referring claimant to another doctor, Dr. Lancellotti said that he had performed a number of such excisions over the past fifteen years and, “even though I did originally want him to see a surgeon for it, I felt that it was in the realm of my experience that I could safely excise the cyst. And so I went ahead and did it.”

Lancellotti testified that he next saw claimant about this condition on October 1, 2001. Lancellotti recalled that at that time, it looked as if the cyst had returned, so he performed an excisional biopsy. When he got the biopsy results, it was “mostly scar tissue . . . the pathologist . . . didn’t see a cyst in the biopsy tissue . . .” Claimant was then sent to Albany Medical Center to have the scar tissue excised. According to Dr. Lancellotti, prior to the October 1, 2001 appointment, claimant had made no complaints about his scalp, but apparently after the second procedure, “he did complain . . . as time went on of . . . pain at the biopsy site and headache[s] . . .” The doctor testified that claimant was prescribed ibuprofen and Tylenol for the pain.
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“It is well settled that the State owes a duty to its incarcerated citizens to provide them with adequate medical care.” Kagan v State of New York, 221 AD2d 7, 8, 646 NYS2d 336, 337 (2d Dept 1996). However, in order to prevail in a case such as this, claimant would be required to present testimony from a physician that there was a deviation from accepted standards of medical care which proximately caused him injury, which claimant failed to do. See, e.g., Lyons v McCauley, 252 AD2d 516, 675 NYS2d 375 (2d Dept 1998), lv denied 92 NY2d 814, 681 NYS2d 475 (1998). For the foregoing reasons, claim no. 106611 is dismissed.


March 20, 2008
New York, New York

Judge of the Court of Claims