Marquez v. City of New York, et al.

Plaintiff seeks monetary damages for personal injuries allegedly sustained while he was detained at the Manhattan Detention center and various jails on Riker’s Island.  Plaintiff “alleges he developed bladder cancer and injury to the urethra as a result of second-hand smoke he inhaled at these correctional facilities.”  The defendants moved to dismiss the complaint on the grounds that Marquez “failed to establish a special duty relationship and therefore failed to state a claim against the municipal defendants in common law tort.”  Marquez argues that the City’s duty of care to him was triggered when it took him into custody.  The Court denied the defendants’ motion to dismiss the complaint, ruling that the “special duty doctrine is not applicable to the case at bar where the claims relate to whether the municipal defendants’ acts or omissions caused or created a condition claimed to be not reasonably safe.”    See Gregorian, D., “Apple’s ‘Inhale’ of a Fix – Ex-Jailbird’s Cig Suit,” New York Post, April 22, 2005, 17; and Peterson, H., “Judge OKs 15M Rikers Smoke Suit,” New York Daily News, April 22, 2005, 6.

Supreme Court of New York, County of New York, No. 123370/01 (2005).