BECKER v. STATE

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Supreme Court, Appellate Division, Second Department, New York.

Anthie BECKER, respondent, v. STATE of New York, appellant.

Decided: July 31, 2000

CORNELIUS J. O'BRIEN, J.P., WILLIAM C. THOMPSON, THOMAS R. SULLIVAN and MYRIAM J. ALTMAN, JJ. Eliot Spitzer, Attorney-General, New York, N.Y. (Peter H. Schiff and Robert M. Goldfarb of counsel), for appellant. Siben & Siben, LLP, Bay Shore, N.Y. (A.G. Chancellor III of counsel), for respondent.

In a claim to recover damages for personal injuries, the defendant appeals from an order of the Court of Claims (Silverman, J.), dated November 3, 1999, which denied its motion to amend the answer to include the defense of collateral estoppel and thereupon to dismiss the claim pursuant to CPLR 3211(a)(5).

ORDERED that the order is reversed, on the law, with costs, the motion is granted, and the claim is dismissed.

 “The doctrine of collateral estoppel precludes a party from litigating ‘an issue which has previously been decided against [him or her] in a proceeding in which [he or she] had a fair opportunity to fully litigate the point’ ” (Kaufman v. Eli Lilly & Co., 65 N.Y.2d 449, 455, 492 N.Y.S.2d 584, 482 N.E.2d 63, quoting Gilberg v. Barbieri, 53 N.Y.2d 285, 291, 441 N.Y.S.2d 49, 423 N.E.2d 807).   The issue of the State's negligence was decided against the claimant in an arbitration proceeding conducted in connection with a Supreme Court action by a State employee against the claimant.   There is nothing to suggest that the claimant was not afforded a fair opportunity to fully litigate the issue in that proceeding.   Accordingly, the State's motion for leave to amend its answer to include a defense of collateral estoppel and to dismiss the claim should have been granted (see, Jordan v. Matveichik, 265 A.D.2d 305, 696 N.Y.S.2d 212;  Harrison v. Stanton, 253 A.D.2d 537, 677 N.Y.S.2d 164;  Scialdone v. Shah, 197 A.D.2d 567, 602 N.Y.S.2d 639;  Gordon v. Incorporated Vil. of Lake Grove, 173 A.D.2d 770, 570 N.Y.S.2d 638;  Bechtel v. State of New York, 105 A.D.2d 677, 481 N.Y.S.2d 117;  Pratt v. State of New York, 181 Misc.2d 488, 694 N.Y.S.2d 604).

MEMORANDUM BY THE COURT.

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