New York State Court of Claims

New York State Court of Claims

SGRO v. STATE OF NEW YORK, #2009-018-029, Claim No. NONE, Motion No. M-76450


Synopsis


Late claim application denied because proposed claim legally defective. No alleged State wrongdoing, incident occurred in a county facility.

Case Information

UID:
2009-018-029
Claimant(s):
TODD M. SGRO
Claimant short name:
SGRO
Footnote (claimant name) :

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

Third-party claimant(s):

Third-party defendant(s):

Claim number(s):
NONE
Motion number(s):
M-76450
Cross-motion number(s):

Judge:
DIANE L. FITZPATRICK
Claimant’s attorney:
TODD M. SGROPRO SE
Defendant’s attorney:
ANDREW M. CUOMO
Attorney General of the State of New York
By: BONNIE GAIL LEVY, ESQUIREAssistant Attorney General
Third-party defendant’s attorney:

Signature date:
June 18, 2009
City:
Syracuse
Comments:

Official citation:

Appellate results:

See also (multicaptioned case)


Decision

Movant has brought a motion for permission to file a late claim. Defendant opposes the


motion.

The motion papers and proposed claim seek damages against the State of New York for the alleged failure to provide proper medical treatment for injuries Movant sustained after a fight with another inmate on October 18, 2007. Movant asserts that on October 18, 2007, he returned from an appearance in Clay Town Court between 7:45 and 8:00 p.m., and was in the custody of the Onondaga County Sheriff’s Office when he got into a fight with another inmate and was injured. Movant was being held at the time in the Onondaga County Justice Center on POD 5-C. Although Movant appears to currently be in State custody at Bare Hill Correctional Facility, there is no indication that at the time of this alleged incident he was in State custody. There are no allegations in the claim that the State did anything wrong or had any involvement with Movant’s medical care following the October 18, 2007 incident.

In order to allow a late claim to be filed under Court of Claims Act § 10(6), the Court must give consideration to the six factors listed in the statute and any other relevant factor. Although no one factor is determinative, as overall, it is a balancing of all of the factors that weigh in favor or against granting a late claim application, whether the claim appears to be meritorious, is often referred to as the most essential factor. Generally a proposed claim meets this standard if it is not patently groundless, frivolous, or legally defective, and upon consideration of the entire record, there is cause to believe that a valid cause of action exists (Matter of Santana v New York State Thruway Authority, 92 Misc 2d 1,11).

The Court of Claims is a Court of limited jurisdiction, having the authority to hear only those claims specifically authorized by statute, and only those claims brought against the State of New York (Court of Claims Act § 9). As Movant has made no allegations in the proposed claim or supporting documents which call into issue any action by the State, this Court lacks subject matter jurisdiction to hear this claim. The proposed claim is legally defective as against the State of New York. All of the other factors also weigh against the application. Movant must bring suit against the County of Onondaga for claims arising from improper medical care at the Onondaga County Justice Center.

Accordingly, based upon the foregoing Movant’s application is DENIED.


June 18, 2009
Syracuse, New York

HON. DIANE L. FITZPATRICK
Judge of the Court of Claims


The Court has considered the following documents in deciding this motion:

1. Motion for Permission to file a late claim.

2. Affidavit of Todd M. Sgro sworn to March 1, 2009, in support with exhibits attached thereto.
3. Affirmation of Bonnie Gail Levy, Esquire, in opposition, dated April 16, 2009.

4. Undated, unsworn letter from Todd M. Sgro in support, received in Chambers on May 25, 2009.