Crampton v. Garnet Health, Index No. EF002981-2021

CourtUnited States State Supreme Court (New York)
Writing for the CourtCatherine M. Bartlett, J.
Citation155 N.Y.S.3d 699,73 Misc.3d 543
Docket NumberIndex No. EF002981-2021
Decision Date13 September 2021
Parties Elaine CRAMPTON and Clarence Crampton, Plaintiffs, v. GARNET HEALTH f/k/a The Greater Hudson Valley Health System, Garnet Health Medical Center f/k/a Orange Regional Medical Center, Garnet Health Urgent Care, P.C. f/k/a ORMC Urgent Care, Garnet Health Doctors, P.C. f/k/a Orange Regional Medical Group, Montgomery Operating Co., LLC d/b/a Montgomery Nursing and Rehabilitation Center, Montgomery Nursing and Rehabilitation Center and Debbie "Doe" ("Doe" being Fictitious and/or unknown), Defendants.

73 Misc.3d 543
155 N.Y.S.3d 699

Elaine CRAMPTON and Clarence Crampton, Plaintiffs,
v.
GARNET HEALTH f/k/a The Greater Hudson Valley Health System, Garnet Health Medical Center f/k/a Orange Regional Medical Center, Garnet Health Urgent Care, P.C. f/k/a ORMC Urgent Care, Garnet Health Doctors, P.C. f/k/a Orange Regional Medical Group, Montgomery Operating Co., LLC d/b/a Montgomery Nursing and Rehabilitation Center, Montgomery Nursing and Rehabilitation Center and Debbie "Doe" ("Doe" being Fictitious and/or unknown), Defendants.

Index No. EF002981-2021

Supreme Court, Orange County, New York.

Decided on September 13, 2021


155 N.Y.S.3d 701

For Plaintiffs Ann R. Johnson, Esq., Finkelstein & Partners, Newburgh, NY

For Defendant Shannon Maureen Henderson, Esq., Kaufman Borgeest & Ryan LLP, Valhalla, NY

Catherine M. Bartlett, J.

73 Misc.3d 545

It is ORDERED that the motion of defendant Montgomery Operating Co., LLC d/b/a Montgomery Nursing and Rehabilitation Center for dismissal in part of the Plaintiffs’ claims against it is disposed of as follows:

I. PLAINTIFFS’ COMPLAINT

Plaintiffs commenced this action to recover for personal injuries allegedly sustained by plaintiff Elaine Crampton while a resident of the Montgomery Nursing and Rehabilitation Center during the period May 21, 2020 to July 1, 2020. Plaintiffs allege that Ms. Crampton sustained injuries including pressure ulcers and fungal dermatitis, and in addition that she was sexually assaulted by one of Montgomery's female employees. The complaint asserts causes of action for (1) violation of Public Health Law § 2801-d, (2) negligence, (3) gross negligence, and (4) the sexual assault.

Plaintiffs allege that Montgomery violated Public Health Law § 2801-d in that it:

— "failed to know or fully understand Plaintiff's physical, mental, psychosocial and medical conditions and needs" (Complaint ¶50);

— "failed to timely and/or properly assess Plaintiff" (¶51);

— "failed to timely and/or properly prepare and/or modify comprehensive care plans to meet Plaintiff's.... conditions and needs" (¶52);

— "failed to timely and/or properly implement interventions necessary to meet Plaintiff's ... conditions and needs" (¶53);

— "failed to timely and/or properly provide necessary treatments, care and/or services necessary to meet Plaintiff's ... conditions and needs" (¶54);
73 Misc.3d 546
— "did not have sufficient staff to meet Plaintiff's ... conditions and needs" (¶55);

— "failed to provide sufficient staff to meet Plaintiff's ... conditions and needs" (¶56);

— "did not properly hire, train and supervise staff to meet Plaintiff's ... conditions and needs" (¶57); and

— "failed to properly hire, train and supervise staff to meet Plaintiff's ... conditions and needs" (¶58).
155 N.Y.S.3d 702

The complaint further alleges that "the failures and deprivations set forth herein constitute the willful and/or reckless deprivation of Plaintiff's rights and/or benefits pursuant to and in accordance with New York Public Health Law §§ 2801-d [and other statutes]." (¶61)

Plaintiffs allege that Montgomery was negligent in that it:

— "did not have sufficient qualified nursing and medical staff in order to provide and implement appropriate care plans ..." (¶70);

— "did not properly train nursing and medical staff in or to provide required daily care to Plaintiff ..." (¶72);

— "did not properly supervise nursing and medical staff in or to provide required daily care to Plaintiff ..." (¶74);

— "failed to employ or otherwise provide sufficient qualified nursing and medical staff in or to provide required daily care to Plaintiff ..." (¶76);

— "failed to employ or otherwise provide sufficient qualified nursing and medical staff in or to provide and implement appropriate care plans ..." (¶78);

— "failed to properly train nursing and medical staff in or to provide required daily care to Plaintiff ..." (¶80);

— "failed to properly supervise nursing and medical staff in or to provide required daily care to Plaintiff ..." (¶82);

— "failed to ensure that its nursing and medical staff were apprised of their responsibility to understand, protect and promote the rights of each resident including Plaintiff" (¶84); and

— "failed to use ordinary and reasonable care in the employment, training and supervision of employees and agents ..." (¶86).
73 Misc.3d 547

Based on the foregoing, Plaintiffs assert a claim for gross negligence in these terms:

93. That the NH Defendants knew that its acts and/or omissions would likely lead to serious injuries for the Plaintiff and/or other residents throughout the facility.

94. That the conduct of the NH Defendants was also grossly negligent, willful, wanton, and in reckless disregard of the potential consequences to Plaintiff.

95. That the NH Defendants, their employees and agents, acted in so reckless a manner as to show a complete disregard for the rights and safety of Plaintiff and while knowing that their conduct would likely result in injury, and/or in recklessly failing to act under circumstances where an act was clearly required so as to indicate a conscious disregard of the consequences of such inaction.

(Complaint ¶¶ 93-95)

II. PUBLIC HEALTH LAW § 3082 IMMUNITY

Defendant Montgomery Operating Co., LLC d/b/a Montgomery Nursing and Rehabilitation Center ("Montgomery") moves for dismissal of the Plaintiffs’ claims — except insofar as they relate to the sexual assault — asserting that those claims are barred by Public Health Law § 3082.

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the New York Legislature passed the Emergency or Disaster Treatment Protection Act. The Act's "Declaration of Purpose" states:

A public health emergency that occurs on a statewide basis requires an enormous response from state and federal and local governments working in concert with private and public health care providers in the community. The furnishing of treatment of patients during such a public health emergency is a matter of vital state concern affecting the public health, safety and welfare of all citizens. It is the purpose of this article to promote the public health,
155 N.Y.S.3d 703
safety and welfare of all citizens by broadly protecting the health care facilities and health care professionals in this state from liability that may result from treatment of individuals with COVID-19 under conditions resulting from circumstances associated with the public health emergency.

Public Health Law § 3080.

73 Misc.3d 548

To that end, the Legislature enacted in Public Health Law ("PHL") § 3082 a broadly defined "immunity from any liability" for health care facilities and professionals, effective March 7, 2020 and throughout the entire period of Ms. Crampton's May 21 - July 1, 2020 residency at Montgomery, as follows:

§ 3082. Limitation of liability.

1. Notwithstanding any law to the contrary, except as provided in subdivision 2 of this section, any health care facility1

or health care professional shall have immunity from any liability, civil or criminal , for any harm or damages2 alleged to have been sustained as a result of an act or omission in the course of arranging for or providing health care services,3 if:

(a) the health care facility or health care professional is arranging for or providing health care services pursuant to a COVID-19 emergency rule or otherwise in accordance with applicable law;

(b) the act or omission occurs in the course of arranging for or providing health care services and the treatment of the individual is impacted by the health care facility's or health care professional's
73 Misc.3d 549
decisions or activities in response to or as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak and in support of the state's directives;

and

(c) the health care facility or health care professional is arranging for or providing health care services in good faith.

2. The immunity provided by subdivision 1 of this Section shall not apply if the harm or damages were caused by an act or omission constituting willful or intentional criminal misconduct, gross negligence, reckless misconduct, or intentional infliction of harm by the health care facility or health care professional providing health care services, provided, however, that acts, omissions or decisions resulting from
155 N.Y.S.3d 704
a resource or staffing shortage shall be not considered to be willful or intentional criminal misconduct, gross negligence, reckless misconduct, or intentional infliction of harm.

III. DEFENDANT MONTGOMERY'S MOTION FOR DISMISSAL

Defendant Montgomery moves pursuant to CPLR § 3211(a)(7) for dismissal of the Plaintiffs’ claims — except insofar as they relate to the sexual assault — asserting that those claims are barred by Public Health Law § 3082. In support of its...

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1 practice notes
  • Garcia v. 13 W. 38, LLC, Index No. 300076/2015E
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court (New York)
    • 13 Septiembre 2021
    ...in the absence of any actionable negligence on Uplift's part. The owner defendants are not entitled to contractual indemnification by 155 N.Y.S.3d 699 FroMark. The agreement between FroMark and Bene Rialto provides that FroMark will "request and obtain Certificates of Insurance from all sub......
1 cases
  • Garcia v. 13 W. 38, LLC, Index No. 300076/2015E
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court (New York)
    • 13 Septiembre 2021
    ...in the absence of any actionable negligence on Uplift's part. The owner defendants are not entitled to contractual indemnification by 155 N.Y.S.3d 699 FroMark. The agreement between FroMark and Bene Rialto provides that FroMark will "request and obtain Certificates of Insurance from all sub......

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