New York State Court of Claims

New York State Court of Claims
GAUDETTE v. STATE OF NEW YORK, # 2020-053-523, Claim No. 126755, Motion No. M-95301

Synopsis

By Order to Show Cause, the Court ordered persons interested in the estate of the deceased claimant to show cause why the claim should not be dismissed as more than four years had passed since claimant's death without substitution of a representative of the estate.  As there was no estate proceeding in Surrogate's Court and claimant's sister advised the Court that she had no objection to dismissal, the claim is dismissed.

Case information

UID: 2020-053-523
Claimant(s): JAMIE H. GAUDETTE
Claimant short name: GAUDETTE
Footnote (claimant name) :
Defendant(s): STATE OF NEW YORK
Footnote (defendant name) :
Third-party claimant(s):
Third-party defendant(s):
Claim number(s): 126755
Motion number(s): M-95301
Cross-motion number(s):
Judge: J. DAVID SAMPSON
Claimant's attorney: JAMIE H. GAUDETTE, Pro Se
Defendant's attorney: HON. LETITIA JAMES
New York State Attorney General
BY: Thomas G. Ramsay, Esq.
Assistant Attorney General
Third-party defendant's attorney:
Signature date: June 23, 2020
City: Buffalo
Comments:
Official citation:
Appellate results:
See also (multicaptioned case)

Decision

By Order to Show Cause dated February 21, 2020, this Court directed those persons interested in the estate of claimant Jamie H. Gaudette to show cause why claim no. 126755 should not be dismissed, as more than four and one half (4 1/2) years had passed since the claim was filed and more than four (4) years had passed since claimant's death and there had been no substitution by a representative of claimant's estate to prosecute the claim.

Claim no. 126755 is a claim filed by the claimant on September 16, 2015 to recover damages sustained as a result of the negligent and inadequate medical care he allegedly received for the treatment of a "Thyroid Storm" while he was incarcerated at Groveland Correctional Facility (Groveland). The trial of this claim was scheduled for September 26, 2019. It was at this time that the Court first learned that Mr. Gaudette had died on January 17, 2016. Shortly thereafter, the Court learned from Assistant Attorney General Thomas G. Ramsay (AAG Ramsay) that Mr. Gaudette had filed with the Department of Corrections and Community Supervision (DOCCS) the name of his sister, Julie Bouchard, as his emergency contact. By letter dated December 9, 2019, the Court wrote to Julie Bouchard, sister of the deceased claimant, asking her to advise if an administrator or executor had been appointed for the claimant's estate and to advise if she was interested in proceeding with claim no. 126755. The Court did not receive a response from claimant's sister.

Pursuant to CPLR 1021, "[i]f the event requiring substitution occurs before final judgment and substitution is not made within a reasonable time, the action may be dismissed . . .". If, however, the event requiring substitution is the death of a party, the Court shall order interested persons to show cause why the claim should not be dismissed (Id.). Accordingly, the Court issued its Order to Show Cause and had it served on claimant's sister Julie Bouchard, on AAG Ramsay, and on the Public Administrator of Surrogate's Court, Clinton County, which is believed to be the county where claimant died, requesting that the Public Administrator advise if an administrator or executor had been appointed for the estate of the deceased claimant.

By letter dated February 27, 2020, the Chief Clerk of Surrogate's Court, Clinton County, advised the Court that no estate proceeding had been filed in Surrogate's Court for the deceased claimant, Jamie H. Gaudette, and that no fiduciary had been appointed. By letter dated March 2, 2020, AAG Ramsay advised the Court that he had no objection to the dismissal of claim no. 126755 and that he was unaware of any other person potentially interested in the estate of the deceased claimant. Finally, by letter dated March 5, 2020, claimant's sister Julie Bouchard advised the Court that she would like the Court to dismiss claim no. 126755. Accordingly, it is hereby

ORDERED, that claim no. 126755 be dismissed.

June 23, 2020

Buffalo, New York

J. DAVID SAMPSON

Judge of the Court of Claims

The following were read and considered by the Court:

1. The Court's Order to Show Cause dated February 21, 2020;

2. The Court's December 9, 2019 letter to the deceased claimant's sister, Julie Bouchard;

3. February 27, 2020 letter from Lise M. Johnson, Chief Clerk of Surrogate's Court, Clinton County;

4. March 2, 2020 letter from Assistant Attorney General Thomas G. Ramsay; and

5. March 5, 2020 letter from the deceased claimant's sister, Julie Bouchard.