New York State Court of Claims

New York State Court of Claims

ARROYO v. THE STATE OF NEW YORK, #2008-016-014, Claim No. 108163


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:
Freddy Arroyo, Pro Se
Defendant’s attorney:
Andrew M. Cuomo, Attorney GeneralBy: Roberto Barbosa, Esq., AAG
Third-party defendant’s attorney:

Signature date:
April 17, 2008
New York

Official citation:

Appellate results:

See also (multicaptioned case)


This decision follows the trial of the claim of Freddy Arroyo, in which Mr. Arroyo complains of medical treatment he received at Albany Medical Center while he was incarcerated at Woodbourne Correctional Facility in Sullivan County. Specifically, Mr. Arroyo alleges that on January 8, 2002, an Albany Medical Center doctor told him that he was to have kidney stones removed in a surgical procedure that had been scheduled for him, but that instead, part of his prostate gland was removed during the surgery. It is also alleged in Mr. Arroyo’s claim that anesthesia was improperly administered during the surgery and that thereafter, “unsterile” water was administered to his kidneys via a catheter, causing him to suffer an infection. Finally, claimant alleges that since the surgery, he has had pain in his kidneys and prostate as well as bladder control problems.

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On January 10, 2002, claimant underwent a surgical procedure at Albany Medical Center. He testified that prior to the surgery, he had participated in a video conference concerning the procedure, and was told that he was going to be operated on for kidney stones, adding that at some point, he had signed papers indicating his consent to the surgery. Arroyo recalled that on the day of the surgery, he was given anesthesia and ten or twelve minutes later, a doctor came in and asked others in the room whether claimant had “signed the papers.” They told the doctor that he had not, and the doctor then said that an interpreter should be found to explain what the surgery would entail. According to claimant, an interpreter was found and about ten or twelve minutes later, it was explained to him that they were going to operate on his prostate, “[a]nd he signed but he did not know.”

Arroyo maintained that as a result of the surgery, his bladder was “destroyed.” He testified that following the procedure, he has had three additional surgeries at outside facilities. Claimant also testified that at some point, he suffered from an infection, that he continues to have pain, and that he is now wearing diapers because he has no bladder control.
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Dr. Frank Lancellotti, a Woodbourne physician, testified that he had reviewed claimant’s medical records, and noted that prior to the January 2002 surgery, claimant had been complaining of obstructive type urinary symptoms and had had multiple urinary tract infections and pain. Dr. Lancellotti indicated that claimant was taken to a urologist, who diagnosed Arroyo as having prostatitis. Asked whether the symptoms of kidney stones and prostatitis could mimic one another, the doctor answered in the affirmative. As to whether he had seen any references to kidney stones in claimant’s records, Dr. Lancellotti could not recall.

The doctor said that the surgery that claimant had at Albany Medical Center was a transurethral resection of his prostate, a procedure referred to as “TURP.” He explained that this procedure is done to try to prevent further urinary tract infections because part of the problem with a swollen prostate is that it impedes urinary flow, which is needed to clear bacteria from the bladder. He added that he was not sure why, in this case, claimant continued to have recurring infections. Dr. Lancellotti testified that having reviewed claimant’s medical records, it was his professional opinion that there was no departure from accepted medical standards in the treatment that claimant received at Albany Medical Center.
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“[T]he 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, the State is not liable for treatment provided to an inmate by an outside physician or at an outside medical facility. Rivers v State of New York, 159 AD2d 788, 789, 552 NYS2d 189 (3d Dept 1990), lv denied, 76 NY2d 701, 557 NYS2d 878 (1990) Accordingly, the State is not liable for deficient treatment, if any, provided to claimant at Albany Medical Center. Moreover, in order to prevail on a medical malpractice claim, claimant is required to present testimony from a physician that there was a deviation from accepted standards of medical care proximately causing 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. 108163 is dismissed.


April 17, 2008
New York, New York

Judge of the Court of Claims