New York State Court of Claims

New York State Court of Claims
QUINONES v. THE STATE OF NEW YORK, # 2021-040-031, Claim No. 129683

Synopsis

Claim dismissed, as Pro se Claimant failed to respond to correspondence from the Court and failed to appear at a conference, pursuant to the Uniform Rules of the Court of Claims 206.10(g).

Case information

UID: 2021-040-031
Claimant(s): EDUARDO QUINONES
Claimant short name: QUINONES
Footnote (claimant name) :
Defendant(s): THE STATE OF NEW YORK
Footnote (defendant name) :
Third-party claimant(s):
Third-party defendant(s):
Claim number(s): 129683
Motion number(s):
Cross-motion number(s):
Judge: CHRISTOPHER J. McCARTHY
Claimant's attorney: Eduardo Quinones, Pro Se
Defendant's attorney: LETITIA JAMES
Attorney General of the State of New York
By: Christina Calabrese, Esq., AAG
Third-party defendant's attorney:
Signature date: July 27, 2021
City: Albany
Comments:
Official citation:
Appellate results:
See also (multicaptioned case)

Decision

This Claim, which was filed in the office of the Clerk of the Court on May 8, 2017, alleges that, on April 25, 2016, Claimant was incarcerated at Franklin Correctional Facility and, at approximately 3:45 p.m., in the passageway between the C-1 day room and bathroom, he slipped and fell on an accumulation of liquids that were on the floor under a "liquid dispenser," as there was no reservoir under the dispenser (Claim, 2, 3). It is alleged that Defendant was negligent in creating a safety hazzard, in failing to timely repair the condition, and in failing to timely assign porters to mop up the leaking liquid before permitting inmates to use the area (id., 5). Issue was joined when the State served and filed its Verified Answer on May 22, 2017.

On July 19, 2017, the Court "So Ordered" a Preliminary Conference Order (hereinafter, "PCO") directing the parties to complete discovery and for Claimant to serve and file a Note of Issue and Certificate of Readiness on or before March 15, 2018. A copy of the PCO was sent to Claimant's then-lawyer, Gary E. Divis, Esq., and Defense counsel, Christina Calabrese, Esq. On March 13, 2018, the Court So ordered a stipulation of the parties extending Claimant's time to serve and file the Note of Issue and Certificate of Readiness to May 1, 2018. Claimant's counsel filed the Note of Issue and Certificate of Readiness on May 1, 2018.

By Decision and Order, dated December 3, 2018, the Court denied Defendant's motion for summary judgment seeking dismissal of the Claim and Claimant's cross-motion for partial summary judgment on the issue of liability (Quinones v State of New York, UID No. 2018-040-104 [Ct Cl, McCarthy, J., Dec. 3, 2018]).

By letter, dated February 11, 2019, the Court scheduled a one-day trial on liability issues only to be held on April 15, 2020 at the Court of Claims in Albany, New York.

Thereafter, Mr. Divis, Claimant's counsel, moved, by Order to Show Cause, to be relieved as counsel, due to health issues. By Daily Report, dated February 3, 2020, the Court adjourned the April 15, 2020 Trial sine die in light of Mr. Divis' Motion to be relieved as counsel for Claimant.

By Decision and Order, dated September 1, 2020, the Court noted that Claimant did not raise any objection to Mr. Divis' withdrawal. The Court granted the Motion, allowing Mr. Divis to withdraw as Claimant's lawyer and directing Claimant to advise the Court by November 16, 2020 if he obtained new counsel, was proceeding pro se, or wished to withdraw the Claim (Quinones v State of New York, UID No. 2020-040-032 [Ct Cl, McCarthy, J., Sept. 1, 2020]).

By letter dated March 18, 2021, the Court wrote to Claimant at 75 West Main Street, Section 4, Room 3, Middletown, NY 10940, and requested that he advise the Court if he retained counsel, will be appearing pro se, or would be withdrawing the Claim. A copy of the letter was sent to Defense counsel. Having not received a response, thereafter, by correspondence dated June 11, 2021, and sent to Claimant at the address set forth above, the Court scheduled a status conference by telephone for July 20, 2021. Claimant was directed to provide the Court with his daytime telephone number to facilitate Chambers' initiation of the conference call. A copy of the letter was sent to Defense counsel. The parties were advised that failure to appear at the conference would be considered a calendar default and would subject the defaulting party to a penalty pursuant to the Uniform Rules for the Court of Claims 206.10(g). Claimant did not appear at the conference, nor did he contact the Court. Defense counsel was present.

Claimant has failed to advise the Court if he retained counsel, would be appearing pro se, or would be withdrawing the Claim, as directed in the Court's Decision and Order dated September 1, 2020 and the Court's letter dated March 18, 2021, and failed to appear at a Court conference as set forth above. Defense counsel was present for the conference on July 20, 2021.

Therefore, in accordance with the Uniform Rules for the Court of Claims 206.10(g), it is hereby ORDERED that Claim No. 129683 be dismissed based upon Claimant's failure to appear at scheduled conference on July 20, 2021.

July 27, 2021

Albany, New York

CHRISTOPHER J. McCARTHY

Judge of the Court of Claims