New York State Court of Claims

New York State Court of Claims

GONZALEZ v. THE STATE OF NEW YORK, #2008-016-013, Claim No. 107490


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:
Wilfredo Gonzalez, Pro Se
Defendant’s attorney:
Andrew M. Cuomo, Attorney GeneralBy: Geoffrey B. Rossi, Esq., AAG
Third-party defendant’s attorney:

Signature date:
March 28, 2008
New York

Official citation:

Appellate results:

See also (multicaptioned case)


This decision follows the trial of the claim of Wilfredo Gonzalez, in which Mr. Gonzalez contends that the State deviated from accepted medical practices following a December 6, 2001 surgical procedure on his nose, which was performed at Albany Medical Center. Specifically, Mr. Gonzalez alleged in his claim that on December 7, 2001, he advised staff at Sullivan Correctional Facility “that the surgery . . . to Claimant’s nasal canal had not been successful and that he was still suffering from pain and bleeding,” and that the medical staff “refus[ed] to treat Claimant’s serious medical needs.” Mr. Gonzalez further alleges that he has “suffered permanent disabilities including chronic loss of breathing ability through his nose and . . . change in his voice.” Claim, ¶5 and ¶11.

Dr. Wladyslaw Sidorowicz, the Sullivan Correctional Facility Medical Director, testified that prior to the December 6, 2001 surgery, claimant had made multiple visits to the Sullivan medical facility because he had a chronic problem with his sinuses, i.e., difficulty in breathing, infection and sinusitis. Reviewing claimant’s medical records, Dr. Sidorowicz testified that claimant had suffered these problems since at least 1999, and that while he was at Shawangunk Correctional Facility prior to his arrival at Sullivan, he had suffered a nose fracture in June 2000.[1]

The doctor said that at Sullivan, Gonzalez was treated to ease his symptoms, and claimant was ultimately sent to a specialist at Albany Medical Center, who performed plastic surgery on his nasal passage. Dr. Sidorowicz explained that after the surgery, claimant stayed at the Sullivan infirmary for several days because there was packing in his nose to prevent bleeding. After the packing was removed, he was discharged, and was seen again by the specialist at Albany Medical Center on December 10, 2001.

* * *
“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. 107490 is dismissed.


March 28, 2008
New York, New York

Judge of the Court of Claims

  1. [1]Claimant maintained that he had never broken his nose. Dr. Sidorowicz testified that an August 4, 2000 entry in claimant’s exhibit 1 medical records indicate that he had a “nasal fx” that was six weeks old, explaining that “fx” refers to fracture. In any event, such is not at issue in this claim.