New York State Court of Claims

New York State Court of Claims
BEDORE v. THE STATE OF NEW YORK, # 2017-041-068, Claim No. 126525, Motion No. M-90716

Synopsis

Claimant's motion to compel disclosure of transcripts and CD recordings of police officer interviews and disclosure of Critical Incident Report concerning fatal accident involving New York State Police vehicle is granted.

Case information

UID: 2017-041-068
Claimant(s): KAYLA E. BEDORE, Individually and as Administrator of the Estate of KIMBERLY A. BARNEY and SCOTT M. COLBY Individually and as Parent and Natural Guardian of E.C.
Claimant short name: BEDORE
Footnote (claimant name) :
Defendant(s): THE STATE OF NEW YORK
Footnote (defendant name) : The caption is amended to state the proper defendant.
Third-party claimant(s):
Third-party defendant(s):
Claim number(s): 126525
Motion number(s): M-90716
Cross-motion number(s):
Judge: FRANK P. MILANO
Claimant's attorney: SMITH, SOVIK, KENDRICK & SUGNET, PC
By: Edward J. Smith, III, Esq.
Defendant's attorney: HON. ERIC T. SCHNEIDERMAN
New York State Attorney General
By: Glenn C. King, Esq.
Assistant Attorney General
Third-party defendant's attorney:
Signature date: October 13, 2017
City: Albany
Comments:
Official citation:
Appellate results:
See also (multicaptioned case)

Decision

Claimants move for an order compelling production of "relevant documents, statements, and audio recordings identified in the Police Chase Report disclosed during document discovery, with respect to the July 24, 2014 automobile accident involving Trevor J. Sisto and Claimants herein." Defendant does not object to the claimants' motion to compel.

The claim alleges that on July 24, 2014, decedent Kimberly A. Barney was a front seat passenger, and the infant E. C. was a backseat passenger, in a car driven by James A. Barney (Barney Car) in an easterly direction on State Highway 86 in Essex County, New York. On that date, the Barney Car was struck head-on by a pick-up truck driven by Trevor J. Sisto (Sisto Truck) which was traveling westbound on State Highway 86. The Sisto Truck had crossed over into the eastbound lane of traffic on State Highway 86 while traveling at an excessive rate of speed as it was being pursued by New York State Police vehicles (defendant). Kimberly A. Barney was killed and the infant E. C. was severely injured as a result of the collision between the Barney car and the Sisto Truck.

The claim further alleges, among many other things, that the defendant acted in reckless disregard of the safety of others by initiating and continuing the pursuit of the Sisto Truck at an unsafe and reckless rate of speed in view of the conditions, in failing to alert others on the roadway of defendant's presence and speed and in failing to utilize alternative means to slow, detain, confine or disable the Sisto Truck.

Claimants seek to compel production of the following items: Interview transcript of Detective LaValley; interview transcript of Trooper Mendelsohn; audio CD recordings of the LaValley and Mendelsohn interviews; and a 5 page Critical Incident Report concerning Detective LaValley and Trooper Mendelsohn.

The defendant refused to provide the above-described material pursuant to claimant's demand, asserting that the material was part of each officer's personnel file and entitled to the protection of "privilege pursuant to Civil Service law 50-a."

In initially urging denial of claimants' motion to compel, defendant further argued that claimants' had failed to serve their request for the items from the personnel files of LaValley and Mendelsohn on the officers as required Civil Rights Law 50-a.

The record shows that officers LaValley and Mendelsohn have received adequate notice of the claimants' application and further shows that neither officer objects to the requested disclosure.

Defendant is ordered to provide to claimant's attorney within twenty days of the filing of this Decision and Order the interview transcript of Detective LaValley; the interview transcript of Trooper Mendelsohn; the audio CD recordings of the LaValley and Mendelsohn interviews; and the 5 page Critical Incident Report concerning Detective LaValley and Trooper Mendelsohn. Claimant's attorney is instructed and ordered that the material disclosed pursuant to this Decision and Order is to be used solely for the purpose of this claim to the extent necessary for the litigation of the claim, and it shall be further disclosed only to parties, counsel, personnel employed to assist counsel, experts, court personnel, court reporters and/or monitors. No further dissemination of the material disclosed pursuant to this Decision and Order is permitted except upon further order of the Court.

October 13, 2017

Albany, New York

FRANK P. MILANO

Judge of the Court of Claims

Papers Considered:

1. Claimant's Notice of Motion, filed July 10, 2017;

2. Unsworn "Affidavit" of Edward J. Smith, III, dated July 5, 2017, and annexed exhibits;

3. Affirmation in Response of Glenn C. King, dated July 19, 2017;

4. Letter of Glenn C. King, dated October 10, 2017.