In the Headlines

Walsh Woodard: Michael J. Walsh (Mediation; Medical Malpractice Law – Plaintiffs; Personal Injury Litigation – Plaintiffs, 2017) represented Timothy Ring of Michigan in his lawsuit against Southern Auto Auction and driver John Weston, who seriously injured Ring after suffering a heart attack and driving his car into a crowd of pedestrians. Ring alleged that Weston was unfit to drive given his heart condition. At the time of the accident, Weston was hired to drive cars in and out of the auction house, according to the Hartford Courant. Ring suffered broken bones and bleeding in his brain.

Zeisler & Zeisler: Jed Horwitt (Bankruptcy and Creditor Debtor Rights / Insolvency and Reorganization Law; Litigation – Bankruptcy, 2006) filed a lawsuit against Norwalk resident Mark J. Varacchi for running a Ponzi scheme and failing to repay the money his victims are owed. According to the lawsuit, Varacchi’s fraudulent Sentinel Growth Fund owes $4 million to one Norwalk resident and $1.1 million to a Stamford-based investment firm. Varacchi was previously involved in a Ponzi scheme involving fraudulent ticket sales to the Broadway musical “Hamilton” and other popular events.

Honorable Mention

Day Pitney: Daniel L. Schwartz (Labor Law – Management; Labor Law – Union; Employment Law – Individuals; Employment Law – Management, 2006) praised the firm’s relocation from its Stamford, Connecticut office to One Stamford Plaza, a 16-story building featuring a fitness center and full-service cafeteria. “Our new downtown location is easily accessible by car or train, provides more natural light and efficient use of space, and offers additional amenities to our clients, attorneys and staff,” Schwartz said in a press release. The firm will celebrate its 100th anniversary in 2019. The new office is one of five in Connecticut.

Robinson+Cole: The firm made a contribution of $2,500 to the Boys & Girls Clubs of Hartford to aid in the organization’s youth development programs. Managing partner Stephen E. Goldman (Insurance Law, 2006) presented the check to Shawonda Swain, the organization’s vice president and chief operating officer, at a private reception.

Carlton Fields: The firm welcomed Robert R. Simpson (Commercial Litigation; Mass Tort Litigation / Class Actions – Defendants; Product Liability Litigation – Defendants, 2013) and two other product liability attorneys to its mass tort and product liability practice group in February. “Robert, Lauren, and Barbara will be key contributors to the continuing growth of our mass tort and product liability platform in the U.S.,” said Stephen J. Krigbaum, partner of the mass tort practice group, in a statement from the firm. “As we look to the future, it’s hard to identify industries as important as those related to life sciences and health care. As the market for pharmaceutical products continues to expand with the aging Baby Boomer generation, Carlton Fields is well positioned to grow alongside it.”

ITN Feature

Madsen, Prestley & Parenteau: Jacques J. Parenteau (Employment law – Individuals; Litigation – Labor and Employment, 2006) represented Kevin Ollie, the former head coach of the University of Connecticut men’s basketball team, in his lawsuit against the university. The university fired Ollie in March 2018 over an NCAA investigation, citing “just cause.”

“The University of Connecticut, which has been my home and my family since I was 18 years of age, has decided to initiate the procedures to terminate my employment for cause, which I am contesting,” Ollie said in a statement to ESPN at the time. “As the head coach of the University of Connecticut Huskies, which is one of the greatest honors and privileges of my life, I have always diligently promoted an atmosphere of compliance for all involved in the program, directly or indirectly.”

Ollie alleged that his firing was the result of racial discrimination, pointing to the team’s former coach Jim Calhoun, who was able to keep his job after facing NCAA penalties. After applying to file the motion with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, Parenteau made a statement on behalf of his client.

“Today the United States District Court heard argument on jurisdictional issues related to Coach Ollie’s quest to secure the full protection of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, specifically on the question of discrimination that presents itself in the facts surrounding the termination of his employment by the University of Connecticut,” Parenteau said. “There is no question that Judge Kari A. Dooley is giving these issues thoughtful and full consideration and has promised to provide a ruling soon. We remain confident that Coach Ollie will ultimately be able to assert unequal treatment claims at the appropriate time.”