Ralph H. Speken, et al., Plaintiffs-Appellants,
                             v.
          Columbia Presbyterian Medical Center,
                     Defendant-Respondent

          Supreme Court, Appellate Division, First
                     Department, New York,

               ENTERED: APRIL 29, 2003

Pro Se&

Ralph H. Speken

Timothy J. O’Shaughnessy

Buckley, P.J., Mazzarelli, Ellerin, Williams,
Gonzalez, JJ. (Justices of the New York State Appellate Court, First Department)

Order, Supreme Court, New York County (Eileen Bransten, J.), entered March 18, 2002, which, in an action to vacate the confidentiality provisions of a settlement agreement in an underlying action for medical malpractice, granted defendant hospital’s motion to dismiss the complaint on the ground of res judicata, unanimously affirmed, without costs.

This is plaintiff’s second attempt to vacate the settlement agreement. The first attempt was a motion in the underlying action that raised, among other arguments, the very argument made herein, to wit, that the confidentially provisions of the settlement agreement are void as against public policy. In affirming the denial of the motion, this Court stated that no basis was shown for setting aside the stipulation of settlement (Speken v Columbia Presbyterian Med.Ctr., 278 A.D.2d 154), and thereby rejected all of the arguments that plaintiffs made for doing so, including the public policy argument they reiterate herein (cf. O’Brien v. City of Syracuse, 54 N.Y.2d 353, 357). As the motion court explained, if plaintiffs believed that their public policy argument was overlooked, their remedy was reargument, not a new action. In any event, the settlement agreement, which prohibits plaintiffs from discussing or otherwise disseminating information about the malpractice action or their decedent’s care and treatment at defendant hospital, does not offend the public policy against prior restraint of speech (seeTrump v. Trump,179 A.D.2d 201, 205, appeal dismissed 80 N.Y.2d 892, lv denied 80 N.Y.2d 760), and we reiterate that no basis is shown for setting aside the settlement.

THIS CONSTITUTES THE DECISION AND ORDER

OF THE SUPREME COURT, APPELLATE DIVISION, FIRST DEPARTMENT

Click for Appeal - "Contracts for Silence"