New York State Court of Claims

New York State Court of Claims
COLLAZO v. THE STATE OF NEW YORK, # 2010-010-048, Claim No. 117604, Motion No. M-78696

Synopsis

Claimant's motion to compel discovery denied.

Case information

UID: 2010-010-048
Claimant(s): PEDRO COLLAZO
Claimant short name: COLLAZO
Footnote (claimant name) :
Defendant(s): THE STATE OF NEW YORK
Footnote (defendant name) :
Third-party claimant(s):
Third-party defendant(s):
Claim number(s): 117604
Motion number(s): M-78696
Cross-motion number(s):
Judge: Terry Jane Ruderman
Claimant's attorney: PEDRO COLLAZO
Pro Se
Defendant's attorney: HON. ANDREW M. CUOMO
Attorney General for the State of New York
By: Elyse Angelico, Assistant Attorney General
Third-party defendant's attorney:
Signature date: December 22, 2010
City: White Plains
Comments:
Official citation:
Appellate results:
See also (multicaptioned case)

Decision

The following papers numbered 1-5 were read and considered by the Court on claimant's motion to compel discovery:

Notice of Motion, Claimant's Supporting Affidavit, Memorandum of Law............1

Defendant's Affirmation in Opposition and Exhibits..................................................2

Defendant's Supplemental Affirmation and Exhibit.................................................3

Claimant's Sur Reply.................................................................................................4

Defendant's Response to Claimant's Sur Reply.........................................................5

Claim No. 117604 alleges, inter alia, medical malpractice and that defendant failed to provide claimant with adequate medical care during his incarceration. On May 27, 2010, claimant served defendant with a discovery demand and defendant served a response on June 11, 2010. Claimant's motion seeks to compel discovery of those items sought in his discovery demand which defendant indicated it would not be producing. The Court has reviewed claimant's demand and defendant's responses in addition to defendant's supplemental papers submitted in response to claimant's motion.

Upon review, the Court makes the following findings. Defendant appropriately responded to claimant's demand for all of his institutional records as vague and over broad, without any indication as to what documents would be material and necessary to this claim. In his Sur Reply, claimant limits his demand to a copy of his Inmate Central Office Folder which "would demonstrate Mental and emotional injuries suffered by the claimant" (Sur Reply 3). In response to this current demand, defendant has submitted an affirmation specifying the contents of the folder and indicating that these documents would not contain the information claimant seeks regarding proof of his mental and emotional injuries (Defendant's Affirmation, 3). Accordingly, the Court finds that defendant need not produce claimant's Inmate Central Office Folder.

Defendant appropriately responded to claimant's demand for New York State Department of Correctional Services' policy and procedure regarding unusual incident reports as restricted to in camera review by the Court. On this application, claimant sought only those portions of the directive as they relate to instances which require the filing of an unusual incident report. In its supplemental response papers, defendant produced, for the Court's in camera review, a redacted copy of the most recent version of Directive 4004 relating to Unusual Incident Reports (Defendant's Supplemental Affirmation, Ex. A). Defendant redacted those portions which could pose a security threat. According to claimant's Sur Reply at 5, defendant served a redacted copy of this directive upon claimant and this has satisfied claimant's demand. Thus, claimant's application relating to this document is rendered moot.

Defendant appropriately responded to claimant's demand for Dr. Bakshis's personnel file/employment history including any prior acts of negligence or medical malpractice and his status as a licenced physician while he treated claimant, as privileged and not subject to disclosure or an in camera review absent a showing of a sufficiently factual predicate. With regard to this claim, claimant has failed to establish a sufficient factual predicate to warrant disclosure of this material.

Defendant also appropriately responded to claimant's demand for all documents identifying those individuals who were present or involved in claimant's medical treatment, by noting that such information is contained in claimant's medical record.

Accordingly, claimant's motion is DENIED.

December 22, 2010

White Plains, New York

Terry Jane Ruderman

Judge of the Court of Claims