New York State Court of Claims

New York State Court of Claims
GAMBLE v. STATE OF NEW YORK, # 2017-040-137, Claim No. 127616, Motion No. M-90754

Synopsis

Pro se Claimant's Motion to produce medical records denied.

Case information

UID: 2017-040-137
Claimant(s): WILLIAM J. GAMBLE
Claimant short name: GAMBLE
Footnote (claimant name) :
Defendant(s): STATE OF NEW YORK
Footnote (defendant name) :
Third-party claimant(s):
Third-party defendant(s):
Claim number(s): 127616
Motion number(s): M-90754
Cross-motion number(s):
Judge: CHRISTOPHER J. McCARTHY
Claimant's attorney: William J. Gamble, Pro Se
Defendant's attorney: ERIC T. SCHNEIDERMAN
Attorney General of the State of New York
By: Joan Matalavage, Esq., AAG
Third-party defendant's attorney:
Signature date: October 31, 2017
City: Albany
Comments:
Official citation:
Appellate results:
See also (multicaptioned case)

Decision

For the reasons set forth below, pro se Claimant's Motion to compel Defendant to produce his medical records pursuant to CPLR 3124 is denied.

The Claim, which was filed with the Office of the Clerk of the Court on March 7, 2016, alleges that, in January and February 2014, Claimant was incarcerated at Franklin Correctional Facility. He asserts that Defendant was negligent in allowing him to be released from the medical unit and returned to the general inmate population on January 26, 2014, based upon his medical condition. He asserts that he was assaulted twice in February in general population by other inmates and then once by several correction officers. He asserts that he suffered "a 'ruptured globe,' the corneal graft was detached [and] emergency surgery" was required (Claim, 5). It appears that following the alleged assault by the correction officers, he suffered another ruptured globe and had more emergency surgery (id., 6). Claimant asserts that he has suffered irreversible loss of vision to and sensitivity to light in his right eye (id., 9).

Claimant served upon Defendant a discovery demand, dated December 11, 2016, which was received December 14, 2016 (Ex. A attached to Defendant's Affidavit in Opposition). The State served a Response on February 14, 2017 (Ex. B attached to Defendant's Affidavit in Opposition). Claimant's demand contained six paragraphs. Defendant responded to each of the six demands, but provided Claimant with only two documents in response to Demands D and E. Claimant objects to the fact that Defendant has not provided him with a copy of his medical records which encompasses Demands A, B and C.

CPLR 3101(a) provides that there "shall be full disclosure of all matter material and necessary in the prosecution or defense of an action, regardless of the burden of proof."

In the three demands at issue, Claimant seeks his medical records, his medical records from "outside" agencies, and his medical records associated with any specialists.

The State asserts that Claimant may inspect his own medical records at the facility where he is currently housed by contacting the Nurse Administrator. Defense counsel is not telling Claimant he can only review his medical records and not have copies of pertinent information. She is advising him the records can be reviewed at the medical unit if Claimant schedules an appointment to do so with the Nurse Administrator. The Court finds this response to be reasonable and proper (see Amaker v State of New York, UID No. 2017-040-092 [Ct Cl, McCarthy, J., Aug. 8, 2017]; see also Fincher v State of New York, UID No. 2014-040-037 [Ct Cl, McCarthy, J., July 15, 2014]). If Claimant would like copies of any documents, he may notify Defendant's counsel, and, upon payment of photocopying costs, will be provided with the requested documents. Claimant is incorrect in his statement in support of his Motion that he has been granted poor person status. He has not. His request to have the filing fee reduced pursuant to CPLR 1101(f) was granted by Acting Presiding Judge Richard E. Sise on March 25, 2016 and his filing fee was reduced to $30.00. He has not made a motion pursuant to CPLR 1101(a) for permission to proceed as a poor person. It is well settled that Defendant has the right to require a claimant to pay reasonable photocopying costs of documents demanded through the discovery process (Gittens v State of New York, 175 AD2d 530 [3d Dept 1991]; see Matter of Brown v State of New York, 6 AD3d 756 [3d Dept 2004]; Shell v State of New York, 307 AD2d 761 [4th Dept 2003], lv denied 1 NY3d 505 [2003]).

Based upon the foregoing, the Court finds that the Defendant's responses to Claimant's discovery demand dated December 11, 2016 to be reasonable and proper. Thus, Claimant's Motion to compel production of documents pursuant to CPLR 3124 is denied.

October 31, 2017

Albany, New York

CHRISTOPHER J. McCARTHY

Judge of the Court of Claims

The following papers were read and considered by the Court on Claimant's Motion to compel:

Papers Numbered

Motion to Compel 1

Affidavit in Opposition and Exhibits attached 2

Filed Papers: Claim, Answer