New York State Court of Claims

New York State Court of Claims
PLANTE v. NEW YORK STATE OFFICE OF MENTAL HEALTH, SAMARITAN HOSPITAL OF TROY, NEW YORK, SAMARITAN HOSPITAL PERSONALIZED RECOVERY ORIENTED SERVICES (PROS), JOHN DOE 1-10, and JOHN DOE INC., 1-10, # 2021-040-020, Claim No. 135918, Motion Nos. M-96540, M-96686

Synopsis

Defendants' Motions to dismiss for lack of jurisdiction granted.

Case information

UID: 2021-040-020
Claimant(s): CHRISTOPHER PLANTE
Claimant short name: PLANTE
Footnote (claimant name) :
Defendant(s): NEW YORK STATE OFFICE OF MENTAL HEALTH, SAMARITAN HOSPITAL OF TROY, NEW YORK, SAMARITAN HOSPITAL PERSONALIZED RECOVERY ORIENTED SERVICES (PROS), JOHN DOE 1-10, and JOHN DOE INC., 1-10
Footnote (defendant name) :
Third-party claimant(s):
Third-party defendant(s):
Claim number(s): 135918
Motion number(s): M-96540, M-96686
Cross-motion number(s):
Judge: CHRISTOPHER J. McCARTHY
Claimant's attorney: IAN KAUFMAN LAW, LLC
By: Ian H. Kaufman, Esq.
Defendant's attorney: For Defendant New York State Office of Mental Health
LETITIA JAMES
Attorney General of the State of New York
By: Charles Lim, Esq., AAG
For Defendants Samaritan Hospital
MAGUIRE CARDONA, P.C.
By: Randall J. Ezick, Esq.
Third-party defendant's attorney:
Signature date: June 16, 2021
City: Albany
Comments:
Official citation:
Appellate results:
See also (multicaptioned case)

Decision

For the reasons set forth below, the pre-Answer Motion to Dismiss (M-96540) by Defendants Samaritan Hospital of Troy, New York and Samaritan Hospital Personalized Recovery Oriented Services (hereinafter, "PROS") is granted. In addition, the pre-Answer Motion to Dismiss (M-96686) by Defendant New York State Office of Mental Health (hereinafter, "State of New York," "State," or "OMH") also is granted.

The Claim, which was filed in the office of the Clerk of the Court on February 2, 2021, asserts that Claimant is a physically and mentally disabled person with several diagnoses. It is asserted that Claimant was referred to PROS by his psychologist/therapist, and that Claimant submitted an application and was admitted to the outpatient day program. It is further asserted that, on or about July 24, 2020 and the ensuing days and weeks, Claimant was mistreated and discriminated against on the basis of his disability by Defendants' employees.

Defendants Samaritan Hospital of Troy and PROS seek dismissal of the Claim on the basis that this Court lacks jurisdiction over them, and Defendant OMH seeks dismissal of the Claim on the basis that the State is not the proper party Defendant in this action.

In support of its Motion, the State of New York has submitted the affirmation of Mary Wojcik, a Senior Attorney for Litigation for OMH, who affirms that she is familiar with hospitals owned and operated by OMH pursuant to its statutory authority set forth in the New York State Mental Hygiene Law, and that OMH operates psychiatric hospitals pursuant to New York State Mental Hygiene Law 7.17(b). That statutory provision sets forth a list of hospitals operated by OMH, and neither Samaritan Hospital of Troy, New York nor PROS are on that list (Ex. B attached to the State's Notice of Motion, Affirmation of Mary Wojcik, Esq. [hereinafter, "Wojcik Affirmation"], 1-3). Ms. Wojcik further avers that OMH does not own or operate Samaritan Hospital of Troy, New York or PROS, and that, while OMH issues operating certificates to PROS programs statewide pursuant to 14 NYCRR Part 512, and, therefore, would have issued an operation certificate to the Samaritan PROS program, OMH does not own, manage, control, or staff Samaritan Hospital, nor does it own, manage, control, staff, or operate Samaritan's PROS program (id., 4, 5).

Claimant has not submitted any papers in opposition to Defendants' Motions.

The Court of Claims is a court of limited jurisdiction with power to hear claims against the State and certain public authorities (NY Const, art VI; Court of Claims Act  9). The Court does not have jurisdiction over private corporations, companies, or individuals. Here, PROS is not an agency or subdivision of the State of New York. The Court of Claims does not have jurisdiction over actions commenced against hospitals or other institutions that are not owned, operated, maintained, or controlled by the State of New York. In addition, there is no separate allegation against OMH or the State of New York. Further, as PROS is not owned, operated, maintained, or controlled by the State of New York, the employees are not State employees, and the State cannot be held liable for their alleged improper conduct.

Based upon the foregoing, Defendants' pre-Answer Motions are granted and the Claim is dismissed as the Court lacks subject matter jurisdiction over the Claim.

June 16, 2021

Albany, New York

CHRISTOPHER J. McCARTHY

Judge of the Court of Claims

The following papers were read and considered by the Court on Defendants' Motions for dismissal:

Papers Numbered

Motion No. M-96540

Notice of Motion, Affirmation in Support

& Exhibit attached 1

Motion No. M-96686

Notice of Motion, Affirmation in Support

& Exhibits attached 2

Filed Papers: Claim