Helping Police Officers to Protect Their Communities
Our firm often represents police who act to protect the liberty, rights and safety of all people in their communities. Here is an example: On September 29, 2020, Judge Covello granted a summary judgment in favor of our client, Sgt. Richard Gasparino, informing the plaintiff that under the circumstances, he had no First Amendment right to hinder officers in the performance of their lawful duties.
Sgt. Gasparino was in charge of a distracted driving operation. Sgt. Gasparino stood behind a column and radioed officers when he observed a driver using a cell phone. The plaintiff, Michael Friend, made a sign “COPS AHEAD” and displayed the sign to passing motorists while standing on the sidewalk two blocks from the operation. Gasparino took the sign, told Friend he was interfering, and instructed him not to come back with another sign or he would be arrested. Friend came back with a bigger sign and was arrested for interfering with an officer.
After dismissal of the charge, Friend sued. He claimed Gasparino violated his First Amendment rights to freedom of speech when he confiscated his sign, asked him to leave the area and not return with another sign or he would be arrested. The Court found that Friend had little, if any, First Amendment protection given the undisputed facts. Even if he had, Gasparino’s actions were justified by the compelling interest to save lives, and there was little else he could do to prevent the interference.
This case demonstrates that when an officer issues a lawful instruction and the person refuses to comply, in a manner that truly hinders the officer in the performance of their duties, that an arrest will be lawful.
Attorney Mike Conroy Moderates Roundtable
Attorney Conroy recently gave a presentation to the New Haven Association of Insurance Professionals regarding the insurance claim appraisal process, which is intended to be a more streamlined, cost-effective method than litigation of resolving claim disputes between insurance companies and their insureds. Drawing on his 30 years of experience in handling, negotiating and litigating insurance claims and coverage issues, Attorney Conroy reviewed for the group emerging trends in the claim appraisal process, then led a round table discussion regarding efficient claim resolution best practices. If you have a question or concern regarding an insurance claim or coverage issue, contact the experienced professionals at Hassett & George for a consultation to determine the best approach for your unique situation.
Hassett & George Wins Dismissal in Suit Involving Yale Fraternities
A Hassett & George team including attorneys Lou George, David Yale and Mike Conroy won a dismissal in Federal Court in a suit alleging Yale University and the fraternities at Yale discriminated against females. Part of the claim was that the landlords of some residential buildings rented by fraternity members violated the Fair Housing Act because females were not allowed to join the fraternity and live in the property. The Federal Court agreed with Hassett & George that the persons who brought the suit never tried to rent directly from the landlords, and that the landlords could not be held responsible for a membership decision by their fraternity tenants. The case was dismissed against Hassett & George’s client in its entirety. The lawsuit involved numerous additional claims against Yale University and the fraternities and almost all were dismissed.
Attorney Conroy Avoids Lengthy Court Case to Help Grieving Mother
Attorney Conroy recently obtained a favorable confidential pre-suit settlement for a young mother whose baby was stillborn at eight months’ gestation. Her obstetrician had missed a key indicator of fetal distress during a routine visit, and the baby was stillborn a week later. Hassett & George’s investigation, in consultation with obstetrics experts, determined that the baby could have been saved if the proper protocols had been followed. The settlement obtained helped the client to close a painful chapter in her life and avoid having to prolong and re-live it through litigation. Hassett & George attorneys pride themselves on their ability to tailor their approach to best suit the needs of their clients and their unique circumstances.
Jeffrey McDonald Named Partner at Hassett & George
We are pleased to announce that Attorney Jeffrey McDonald has been named Partner. Jeff is a litigation attorney and represents clients in all aspects of tort liability claims, including motor vehicle liability, premise liability, dram shop liability, and construction defect claims. His practice also includes commercial civil litigation and appellate work. Jeff has been selected as a Super Lawyer Rising Star in the area of Civil Litigation, and he has successfully tried multiple cases to verdict in both State and Federal Court throughout Connecticut.
Insurance Defense Team Achieves An Excellent Result In Jury Trial
Attorney Michael Conroy achieved an excellent result on behalf of a client he recently defended in a Bridgeport courtroom. Our client had rear-ended the plaintiff’s vehicle in rush hour traffic, allegedly causing exacerbation of pre-existing neck and back injuries, with claimed lifetime disability. Our client admitted he was at fault, so Attorney Conroy’s job was to minimize the amount his client’s insurance company would have to pay in damages. Before trial, as much as $55,000 was offered to settle the case. At trial, the plaintiff asked the jury to award her $175,000. Attorney Conroy showed the jury that by examining the plaintiff’s pattern of medical treatment and subjective complaints over time as reflected in her medical records, it was clear that the accident at issue had little effect on her pre-existing conditions, and no long-term effect. The jury awarded her only $21,000, less than two thirds of her claimed medical expenses.
Transaction Team Turns Complicated Commercial Deal Around In 4 Weeks
The commercial transaction team at Hassett & George recently assisted clients in closing a commercial building worth over the sum of $3 million dollars. The unique part of the transaction involved the purchase of a 30,000 square foot building by two independent operating companies with loans from both a bank and the SBA’s 504 Loan Program. With one of the companies’ existing lease ending soon, the parties had to close the deal within 4 weeks. Despite the unique situation of having two different companies under one SBA loan, the team was able to help the clients successfully close within the short time frame. Thanks to Louis George, Stephanie Ma and Crystal Phelps for completing this deal.
Veteran State Employee Succeeds
After over a two plus year battle with the State of Connecticut, Hassett & George successfully resolved a case on behalf of a client who alleged her employment separation from a state university violated her constitutional, statutory and contract rights. Multiple claims sought money to compensate for the arbitrary and capricious actions resulting in lost wages and benefits. “The treatment of this dedicated and veteran executive with the State system was egregious and the resolution was proper” stated Attorney Raymond Hassett who represented the client with Attorney David Yale.
Mandated Reporter Cleared
After a six-month criminal investigation, a school administrator has been cleared of criminality related to her alleged failure to report alleged student abuse. Attorney Hassett contended that the student reports were not credible or reliable and more importantly not reported/known to his client. The State acknowledged these conclusions and closed its investigation as to our client. She is now free to return to educating and helping children, as she has done without incident for the past two decades. The case reminds all mandated reporters to be ever vigilant.
Another Federal Court Win
Hassett & George received a favorable decision in U.S. District Court, for a client sued for alleged fraud and misrepresentation, in connection with a prior divorce. The Court dismissed the case agreeing that there was no jurisdiction and the case was barred pursuant to the legal concept of res judicata. The client, a respected and tenured trial lawyer, was very pleased with the Court ruling. The case was handled by Attorneys Raymond Hassett and Jeffrey McDonald.
A custody dispute involving two children resolved favorably for a Hassett & George client. Attorney Raymond Hassett convinced a Superior Court Judge that it was in the best interests of the parties’ children to be with his client, contrary to the shared parenting plan advocated by opposing counsel. In addition, he received a child support award for his client in excess of a prior proposal. “We are happy for the success of client, a wonderful and committed parent,” Attorney Hassett concluded.
Interstate Battle Ends Successfully
Attorney Hassett handled a case which involved a bitter and protracted custody dispute, police involvement, mental health professionals, DCF, interstate jurisdictional disputes and millions of dollars of assets. “On the first day of trial, the case resolved successfully for our client,” reported Attorney Hassett. “Our client retained all assets for a fair payment. Most importantly he has physical custody of his children and no alimony requirements. We hope the parties and children can now heal and move forward to normalcy.”
Remarkable Story of Hassett & George Client Featured in Reader’s Digest
This month’s Reader’s Digest includes an article featuring Hassett & George client Kathleen Magowan, a Simsbury schoolteacher who was unaware that she was a millionaire. Attorney Louis George remembers the day Hassett & George lawyers discovered that the elderly Ms. Magowan had significantly more money than she thought – almost $6M more! And what she chose to do with that money was truly remarkable. Read the full article here.
Attorney Michael Conroy Prevails in Federal Court On Behalf of Local Police Officers
Attorney Conroy recently obtained summary judgment on behalf of three City police officers in a civil rights matter in Federal District Court. The court dismissed all claims against Attorney Conroy’s clients, who had been accused of violating the Plaintiff’s 14th amendment rights by allegedly failing to provide necessary medical care. The Court agreed with Attorney Conroy that the police officers were entitled to qualified immunity and all claims against the police officers were dismissed.
Attorney Yale Succeeds At Second Circuit Court of Appeals
Attorney Dave Yale recently succeeded before the Second Circuit Court of Appeals in New York on behalf of three local police officers who were accused of violating the Plaintiff’s 4th Amendment rights. Attorney Yale argued to the Second Circuit that the three officers, who were merely assisting in an investigation of the Plaintiff’s gun dealer’s license, did not conduct any search or investigation, and thus could not have violated the 4th Amendment. The Second Circuit agreed with Attorney Yale and found that the officers were entitled to qualified immunity, upholding the District Court’s decision and dismissing the appeal.
A Win for Attorney Lou George, UConn Head Football Coach Randy Edsall and Son Corey Edsall
On November 1, 2018, Connecticut Superior Court Judge, Joseph M. Shortall, issued a 41-page decision vacating the citizen’s ethics board’s decision and finding that Randy Edsall and Corey Edsall did not violate the State of Connecticut Code of Ethics.
“We are pleased with the Court’s decision, which validates what the Edsalls have maintained since day one: that both Randy and Corey were always up front, open and honest about their employment with UCONN and that Randy and Corey complied with all the requirements set forth in the Code of Ethics,” stated Louis N. George. Further, George stated that his clients are pleased to have their names cleared by the Court, and they look forward to continuing to build the University’s football program.
Lou George Challenges Ethics Advisory Board on Behalf of Randy Edsall, UConn Football Coach
On September 5, 2018, Attorney Lou George represented UConn Head Football Coach Randy Edsall and Tight End Coach Corry Edsall in New Britain Superior Court, challenging the State Citizen’s Ethics Advisory Board’s 2017 decision, which stated that Randy Edsall was a State employee at the time he negotiated for his son’s employment and that the Code of Ethics does not allow Randy and Corey to coach on the same staff. Attorney George argued that the Ethics Board’s decision was arbitrary, speculative and not based upon any credible evidence. Attorney George explained to the Court that every action taken by Randy Edsall, and Corry Edsall, was open, honest and with the knowledge and approval of the State of Connecticut. Attorney George asked the Court to vacate the Board’s 2017 opinion. The Court is expected to issue a written decision. Attorneys Jeff McDonald and Stephanie Ma assisted Lou George with the legal briefing. Read more about this case in this Hartford Courant article. http://www.courant.com/news/connecticut/hc-news-uconn-edsall-ethics-hearing-20180904-story.html
Seriously Injured Couple Awarded $800,000
Hassett & George‘s personal injury team recovered $800,000 on behalf of a local couple involved in a serious car accident in Norfolk, CT. The husband and wife were seriously injured in the head-on accident, which required Life Star treatment to an area hospital, followed by a lengthy and complicated course of treatment. Attorneys Lou George and Jeff McDonald fought hard to maximize their clients’ recovery and provide relief for the devastating injuries suffered.
Elliot Spector Appointed to International Association of Chiefs of Police School Liaison Committee
Attorney Elliot Spector was appointed to the International Association of Chiefs of Police School Liaison Committee, a committee created to develop and refine policies and procedures for police school liaisons, such as school resource officers. Elliot is a former police officer who is dedicated to training police officers to effectively respond to dangerous situations. As a lawyer at Hassett & George, Elliot’s practice concentrates on the representation of law enforcement officers and municipalities. He also acts as a law enforcement advisor for police departments and individual officers on policy issues, critical incidents and law related questions.
Hassett & George Provides Array Of Services to Clients In Need
Following a tragic accident that took the life of their father, a local family engaged Hassett & George to investigate the cause of the accident and hold the liable party responsible. After filing a wrongful death lawsuit against the operator of the offending vehicle, Lou George and Jeff McDonald obtained a favorable recovery for the family. Following resolution of the wrongful death claim, Hassett & George‘s Estate Administration team, led by Steve Basche, was able to obtain court approval over the resolution and guide the family through the probate court.
Elliot Spector Files Brief Related to “Qualified Immunity” For Police Officers
Attorney Elliot Spector recently filed an Amicus Brief to the United States Supreme Court on behalf of the International Municipal Lawyers Association regarding issues of clearly established law concerning qualified immunity for police officers. Qualified immunity protects government officials from liability for civil damages insofar as their conduct does not violate clearly established statutory or constitutional rights of which a reasonable person would have known.
Lou George and Jeff McDonald Settle Slip and Fall Case for $100,000
Attorneys Lou George and Jeff McDonald lead the firm’s Personal Injury Team in recovering $100,000 for a client who was injured when he slipped on ice at an apartment complex in New Haven, CT.
Estate Planning Team Led by Steve Basche Protects Client Assets
From our offices in Simsbury and Glastonbury, the H&G Estate Planning Team has been busy protecting the interests’ of our clients across Connecticut. Some recent examples:
– We helped a client preserve his eligibility for Medicaid benefits by funding a Pooled Trust through PLAN of CT. By funding this trust, our client will not be considered the owner of the inherited assets and will still be eligible for Medicaid benefits.
– We drafted documents for a couple where the wife was diagnosed with early onset Alzheimer’s disease. Through the use of an irrevocable trust, the clients were able to protect a portion of their assets from the eventual cost of a nursing home.
– By creating an irrevocable dynasty trust for a vacation home, we were able to fulfill the client’s goal of keeping the vacation home in the family for generations to come. Our client wanted to make sure the home at the shore stay in family, protected from divorce and creditors. By putting the property in an irrevocable trust, the cottage can be enjoyed by the family for many years.
Ray Hassett Helps Local College Student Accused of Sexual Assault
Ray Hassett recently succeeded in refuting allegations of a sexual assault against a Connecticut college student involved in a campus relationship. The case involved criminal charges, as well as an internal investigation and hearing before university administration, known as a Title IX hearing. Following the hearing, the student was immediately absolved and reinstated to the university with full privileges and without restriction. The criminal case was likewise closed based upon evidence provided during the law enforcement investigation.
Lou George Representing UConn Head Football Coach Randy Edsall
On September 1, 2017, Lou George filed an appeal of the State Citizen’s Ethics Advisory Board’s decision on behalf of UConn Head Football Coach Randy Edsall and his son, Corey Edsall. In July, the Board issued an advisory opinion finding that Coach Edsall had violated the Code of Ethics by negotiating an assistant coach position for his son. The appeal argues that the Board erroneously defined Coach Edsall as a “state employee” under the Code when Coach Edsall negotiated a position for Corey. The appeal further argues that the Board ignored previous decisions that permit family members to be employed within the same department of the State.
Lou George And Hassett & George File Suit Against State Of Connecticut On Behalf Of Gubernatorial Candidate
Hassett & George filed suit against the State of Connecticut on behalf of a gubernatorial candidate, challenging the constitutionality of portions of the law governing the Citizens’ Election Program (CEP). The CEP provides full financing to qualified candidates for statewide offices. Portions of the law, however, prohibit certain candidates from accessing funds through the CEP, including those who have been convicted of felonies in connection with their public office. Hassett & George filed suit challenging the constitutionality of this provision, which infringes on candidates’ constitutional rights, including that of free speech, free association, equal political opportunity, and due process.
Ray Hassett Argues To Second Circuit Court Of Appeals
In a unique case, Ray Hassett appeared in New York City before the United States Second Circuit Court of Appeals to address a $1,000,000 order of restitution against a client. The three judge panel heard an appeal which involved the legality of a restitution order imposed by the Trial Court almost five and a half years after the disposition of the criminal charges. The case is being handled by Ray Hassett in conjunction with Jeff McDonald.
Dave Yale Wins Summary Judgment In Favor Of Local Police Officers
Dave Yale recently won a Summary Judgment motion in federal court, successfully defending three local police officers accused of conducting an illegal search. The officers were assisting the State Police investigating a report of a convicted felon having possession of firearms, including assault rifles and machine guns. The subject of the investigation claimed the officers were in his yard without a warrant and in violation of the Fourth Amendment. Yale convinced the Court that the area in which the officers were located was not a protected private area and that the Fourth Amendment did not apply to their actions.
Lou George And Jeff McDonald Serve As Local Counsel For Nationwide Class Action
Lou George and Jeff McDonald recently served as local counsel pursuing a nationwide class action lawsuit filed in Connecticut. In conjunction with counsel from Massachusetts, California and Ohio, Attorneys George and McDonald pursued claims on behalf of the class for long term care insurance benefits that had been wrongfully withheld by a local insurance carrier. Individuals across Connecticut were being denied long term care benefits, despite having paid thousands of dollars in premiums. Following extensive litigation, George and McDonald, together with out of state counsel for the class, succeeded in reaching a global resolution that established long term care coverage for all class members.
H&G Recovers $1.1M For Client Whose Account Was Drained Of $400,000
An elderly woman discovered that her CD account with a local bank, which should have contained approximately $400,000.00, had a zero balance. A bank employee had been taking money from her account for years, and creating false transactions and paperwork to hide her activities. Attorneys Michael Conroy and Raymond Hassett got involved, and with the assistance of some top notch forensic work by local CPA Tim McCarthy, were able to recover over $1.1 million for the client in less than four months, without having to file suit. The bank also paid all legal and accounting fees.
Elliot Spector And Dave Yale Recover $648,849 For Former State Employee
In 2009, Martin Praisner was arrested for alleged excessive force while he worked as a police officer at Eastern Connecticut State University. During the criminal investigation he was hired by the Department of Corrections. Attorney Spector successfully defended Mr. Praisner, resulting in a dismissal of the criminal charges. Pursuant to statute, a police officer who is arrested for an act performed within the scope of his duties is entitled to indemnification when the criminal case results in a dismissal.
The State first claimed the statute did not apply to University Officers and denied indemnification. We prevailed on that claim at summary judgment and the damage claim went to trial. The State maintained that the claimed losses were speculative and no claim could be made for future losses. We proved that the claimed damages were likely and that future damages were compensable because the Department of Corrections refused to reinstate or rehire Mr. Praisner after he reapplied following the dismissal of the criminal case.
Every dollar claimed was awarded by the trial judge.
Dave Yale Successfully Obtains Dismissal Of Criminal Charges
Dave Yale recently obtained a dismissal of criminal charges for a client alleged to have possessed child pornography on his computer. Yale successfully argued that the computer containing the alleged images was used by multiple people and that the images could not be attributed to the client. He explained that the wireless router installed in the client’s home was run unsecured, and that friends of the client’s teenage child accessed the internet through that connection, meaning the activity could be attributed to many different individuals. Yale’s background and knowledge in computer technology and law enforcement was key to unraveling the State’s allegations and successfully defending his client against these extremely serious charges.
Dave Yale Obtains Favorable Result At Admitted Liability Jury Trial
Dave Yale successfully defended a client before a Hartford Jury on an admitted liability motor vehicle accident claim. Yale’s client had rear ended Plaintiff’s vehicle causing significant property damage to both cars. Plaintiff incurred $12,000 in medical bills and sustained a permanent injury to her back. She was pregnant at the time of the collision. Although her pregnancy was unaffected by the accident, she claims serious emotional injury and stress caused by the accident. At trial, Plaintiff asked the jury for a $150,000. At the conclusion of the trial, the jury awarded a favorable verdict of approximately $38,000, well below Plaintiff’s pre trial settlement demand.
Jared M. Alfin Named Partner At Hassett & George
We are pleased to announce that Attorney Jared M. Alfin has been named Partner. Alfin has been practicing since 2004. Since joining Hassett & George in 2013, he has played a key role in expanding the firm’s client base and growing its litigation practice. As a partner, he will continue to counsel clients on a range of issues involving commercial contract disputes, collections, real estate litigation, white-collar fraud, unfair trade practices, condominium law, partnership disputes, and litigation involving shareholders and members.
Alfin will become the sixth partner at Hassett & George, joining existing partners, Raymond M. Hassett, Louis N. George, Michael C. Conroy, and Steven M. Basche.
Hassett & George grows its talent
We are pleased to announce the addition of Stephanie Ma, Melanie Jordan, and Michele Spooner to our growing team of legal professionals.
Stephanie Ma has joined our Business Transactions team as an associate. Prior to joining Hassett & George, Stephanie worked for five years in law firms in Hartford and New Haven. She received her Juris Doctorate from Quinnipiac University School of Law and her Bachelor of Arts in English and Economics from Wellesley College. Ma is a member of the Connecticut Advisory Council on Housing Matters and is on the Board of Directors for the Elm City College Preparatory Schools in New Haven. Ma is proficient in Cantonese.
Melanie Jordan has joined our Trusts & Estates team. Melanie is an experienced probate paralegal, and she looks forward to assisting clients with their estate planning and estate administration needs.
Michele Spooner joins the firm as a paralegal in our residential real estate group. Michele has over 20 years of experience guiding clients through the process of buying, selling and re-financing homes.
Attorney Conroy Succeeds Before The Connecticut Supreme Court
Attorney Michael Conroy, representing a local resident in defense of an appeal filed by an area hospital, obtained a successful result before the Connecticut Supreme Court. In the appeal, the hospital claimed that Attorney Conroy’s client ought to be held in contempt of court for failing to pay certain costs levied against him following litigation with the hospital. This was the first time that this issue would be addressed by our appeals courts, so the argument took place before Connecticut’s highest court, the Connecticut Supreme Court. The seven judge panel heard arguments in December, and has now issued its decision finding in favor of Attorney Conroy’s client and against the hospital!
Attorney McDonald Prevails On Summary Judgment
Attorney Jeffrey McDonald’s client, a local contractor pursuing a claim for moneys owed on a completed project, successfully defeated the property owner’s motion for Summary Judgment, which claimed that no moneys were owed. Attorney McDonald’s client will now have his day in court.
Another Successful Month For Hassett & George‘s Personal Injury Clients
Hassett & George‘s personal injury practice group recovered in excess of $250,000 for its clients during the month of April.
David Yale Exonerates Local Police Officers
Attorney David Yale, himself a former police officer, successfully defended four local police officers in a case of “swatting.” An unknown person called the police and reported gunfire and people shot inside a house. When the police arrived, they searched the house to ensure that no one was hurt and in need of assistance, but determined the call was false and was intended to harass the home owner. The homeowner sued the officers in claiming they had no right to enter his house. The Federal District Court granted judgement in favor of the officers, reasoning that the information given to the officers was specific enough for them to reasonably believe someone in the home may have been shot or in need of aid and that the officers’ actions were limited to what was necessary to determine the call was a hoax.
Last Month Of 2016 Yields Many Successful Development And Transactional Results For Hassett & George Clients
The last month of the year was extremely productive and exciting for the Development Group of Hassett & George. Attorney Louis George and Paralegal Crystal Phelps successfully closed seven commercial transactions of various sizes in the last three weeks of the year. These projects included the purchase and sale of businesses, expansion projects, and lender representation. Many of these projects included land use and environmental approvals prior to the closings. Upon obtaining these approvals, the closings went off without a hitch providing our clients with greater opportunity to profit in 2017.
Hassett & George Successfully Resolves Criminal Charges In Client’s Favor
This case involved the tragic death of a young child who was struck by a vehicle operated by Hassett & George‘s client. The client initially faced multiple charges including felony evasion of responsibility. After vigorous and lengthy pretrial motions, and over the passionate objection of the victim’s family, the case was resolved by a nolo contendre plea on a single misdemeanor charge. This avoided long-term impact on the client and no incarceration. The case was handled by Attorney Ray Hassett.
Attorneys Hassett And Yale Fight And Prevail For Client Against State
Attorneys Ray Hassett and David Yale succeeded on behalf of their client in response to the State of Connecticut’s Motion To Dismiss. Hassett & George‘s client, a senior executive in the State College system, is pursuing a claim against the State for failure to pay wages and benefits, which she claims are due. The State moved to dismiss the lawsuit, arguing that it was immune from liability and did not have an obligation to pay the wages claimed. The court sided with Hassett & George‘s legal position and ruled that our client has properly asserted bona fide claims in its pleadings against the State. This significant victory will allow our client to continue to pursue her day in court.
Louis George And Jeffrey McDonald Collect Over $500,000 For Personal Injury Clients In The Month Of November
In November of 2016, the Plaintiff litigation team at Hassett & George assisted its clients in collecting over $500,000.00 in damages for various personal injury clients. The first case involved a claim of false arrest against a department store resulting in a resolution in excess of $30,000. The second involved a shoulder injury requiring surgery which resulted from an automobile accident. The matter was resolved for $150,000. The next matter involved an automobile accident wherein the plaintiff sustained a dissected carotid artery which resulted in a resolution of $140,000. The fourth matter was resolved for $125,000. The accident involved a rear end collision by a box truck resulting in a shoulder injury. There were two settlements wherein Hassett & George collected the policy limits of $25,000 and is now pursuing additional money from their under-insured policies. The last two cases resulted in settlements of $31,000 for neck and back injuries. The litigation team continues to advocate for its clients in various areas of litigation.
Louis George, Michael Conroy & Jeffrey McDonald Recover Over $1,650,000 For Clients With Wrongfully Denied Claims In 2016
In five separate cases thus far in 2016, Michael Conroy represented Hassett & George clients in property damage claims that had been denied or substantially undervalued by their insurance companies. In these cases, Hassett & George‘s clients suffered extensive damage to commercial and residential properties as a result of severe weather or accidental fires. Four of the claims had been denied in their entirety, and the fifth had generated a trivial settlement offer. Attorney Conroy was able to resolve the five cases, recovering a total of over $1,300,000 for our clients.
Louis George and Jeffrey McDonald resolved a multi-year bad faith insurance coverage case wherein the insurance agency and insurance company combined to pay $350,000 to the clients of Hassett & George for a motor vehicle liability coverage dispute.
H&G Attorneys Recover $265,000 For Clients Following Trial Of Under-Insured Motorist Claim
In October of 2016, Hassett & George represented two plaintiffs who were seriously injured in a drunk driving accident. When the at-fault driver’s insurance did not provide just compensation, Hassett & George pursued under-insured motorist claims with the clients’ own insurance company. When the insurance company refused to pay anything on the claims, Hassett & George tried the case to a jury in New Britain Superior Court. Following three days of evidence, the jury returned a verdict in excess of $265,000 in favor of Hassett & George‘s clients.
Congratulations To Raymond M. Hassett For Being Named A Super Lawyer
Hassett & George, P.C. is pleased to announce that Raymond M. Hassett has been named a Super Lawyer in the area of Criminal Law for the fifth time. Super Lawyers is a rating service of outstanding lawyers from more than 70 practice areas who have achieved a high-degree of peer recognition and professional achievement. Super Lawyers employs a rigorous selection process that has been recognized by bar associations and courts across the country for its credibility and sophistication. It combines peer nominations and evaluations with third-party research. Each year, no more than 5% of the lawyers in New England make this list, so it is quite an honor for Attorney Hassett and for our firm.
Jeffrey McDonald Obtains Summary Judgment In Favor Of Insurance Company In Subrogation Action
Attorney McDonald, representing a local insurance company in a subrogation claim against an out of state insurance company, recently obtained summary judgment establishing that the other insurer was liable for the damages sustained by our client. The summary judgment finding will cut out a lot of unnecessary litigation expense to establish liability at trial, and the matter will now simply proceed to a hearing in damages to determine how much money the insurer owes to our client.
Jared Alfin Obtains Positive Result For Homeowner In Collections Dispute
Attorney Jared Alfin obtained a positive result for his client, a homeowner being sued for not paying the full bill for home improvement work done at his home. After finding technical statutory violations in the contract, Attorney Alfin proved the work performed was not in accordance with construction standards – resulting in a $5,000.00 award for the homeowner and a judgment against the contractor.
Jeffrey McDonald Wins Summary Judgment For Commercial Property Owner In Slip And Fall Case
In May 2016, Attorney McDonald obtained a successful result for a commercial property owner in downtown Bridgeport. A plaintiff fell on a the sidewalk in front of the property owner’s storefront and claimed that the property owner was liable for the serious injuries he sustained. Attorney McDonald successfully argued that the commercial property owner was not liable for the plaintiff’s fall and injuries based upon the City ordinance that did not require such a duty.
Jeffrey McDonald Obtains Summary Judgment In Favor Of Canton Resident Sued For Injury Caused By Fireworks
In January 2016, a plaintiff injured in a fireworks accident pursued a claim for strict liability against the property owner where the injury occurred. Attorney McDonald successfully argued that the plaintiff was barred from bringing such a claim due to the plaintiff’s own participation in the fireworks display.
David Yale Obtains Favorable Result For Client At Jury Trial
In a case where Attorney Yale’s client admitted liability for a rear-end accident, Attorney Yale convinced the jury to award damages that were limited to the plaintiff’s medical bills and only a nominal amount of pain and suffering damages. The jury award was commensurate with the pre-trial offer, which was significantly less than the plaintiff demanded to settle the case.
Summary Judgment Granted In Insurance Defense Case
A Plaintiff injured in a fireworks accident pursued a claim for strict liability against the property owner where the injury occurred. Attorney McDonald successfully argued that the Plaintiff was barred from bringing such a claim due to his participation in the fireworks display.
Hassett & George Obtains $65,000 Settlement For Personal Injury Client
Hassett & George‘s client was injured falling from a bar stool at a local restaurant. Attorney McDonald pursued claims against the restaurant and bar stool manufacturer and ultimately succeeded in obtaining $65,000 on his client’s behalf.
Transactional Team Closes Over $16M In Two Closings
As 2015 ended, the Hassett & George Commercial Real Estate Group was busy closing two complex matters that totaled over 16 million dollars. One deal involved the refinance and restructure of an 8 million dollar loan for a large non-profit organization. This deal was led by Attorney Martin Clayman. The second deal was the culmination of a lawsuit resulting in the transfer of multiple commercial establishments in both Connecticut and Massachusetts as part of complex, yet creative, resolution to a long-standing dispute. The second deal was led by Attorney Louis George. Paralegal Crystal Phelps played an integral role in both transactions.
H&G Corporate Team Assists In Preserving Future Of The Historic Hartford Club
The corporate team at Hassett & George, P.C., led by attorneys Louis N. George and Martin A. Clayman, successfully structured a deal to solidify The Hartford Club’s financial well-being for the future. The deal included the organization and collaboration of several prominent investors to pay off the outstanding bank debt. As a result, the Club will continue to remain a Hartford landmark at 46 Prospect Street. “The complexities and uniqueness of the deal were challenging; however, the purpose of the project – to preserve the historic Hartford Club – was well worth it,” stated Louis George.
Successful Defense Of Property Owner
Attorney Jeff McDonald successfully defends client in two day temporary injunction hearing in New London Superior Court. An abutting property owner filed suit against a non-profit organization located in Eastern Connecticut alleging that the organization’s development of a botanical gardens had caused and would continue to cause irreparable harm to nearby natural resources and wetlands. The abutting property owner petitioned the Court to stop all work on the site. Following a two day evidentiary hearing, Attorney McDonald’s client prevailed when the court denied motion for temporary injunction.
Judge Directs Verdict In Favor Of Michael Conroy’s Clients
Defending a real estate agency and its agents against claims of fraud, unfair trade practices and professional negligence, Attorney Conroy recently obtained the highly unusual result of a directed verdict in favor of his clients at trial. The plaintiff, owner of a 40-year old home in original condition, retained Attorney Conroy’s clients to market and sell the home. Marketed as a “fixer-upper”, the home was purchased for full price by a renovator. After completely renovating the home, the purchaser re-sold it nine months later for $144,000 more than the original purchase price. Plaintiff thereafter filed suit, claiming that he had been misled regarding the home’s value. The case went to trial in July 2015, with plaintiff seeking as damages the full value of the home, treble damages, and attorneys’ fees. On cross-examination of the plaintiff and his witnesses, Attorney Conroy exposed contradictions and misstatements that undermined the bulk of the claims. At the close of evidence, the trial judge made the unusual finding that, based on the evidence presented, there was no way that a reasonable jury could find for the plaintiff, entering judgment on all counts for the defendants. Having faced claims exceeding $1 million, Attorney Conroy’s clients prevailed with zero liability, and now stand to recover some or all of their costs and expenses incurred in defending themselves.
H&G Attorney Selected For Judicial Committee
In 2015, Attorney Jared M. Alfin was selected to be a member of the Judicial Committee on Discovery and Expedited Litigation, which comprised of Connecticut judges and attorneys in various practice areas. This committee was charged with looking at the state court civil litigation process and developing ways to better manage and dispose of cases in a more efficient way, with a particular focus on reducing the costs of discovery and providing an appropriate and potentially more streamlined litigation process for different case types (business disputes, contract disputes, personal injury, etc.). As a result of its discussions, the committee is proposing a number of changes to existing rules and practices to address the problems and costs of discovery, to ensure the efficient and effective management of cases overall, and to implement a pilot streamlined litigation docket in the Judicial District of Hartford to ensure that people have the opportunity to present smaller cases in a cost-effective way. The committee hopes that these changes will be implemented for the benefit of our community.
David Yale Secures A Successful Outcome For Insurance Company
David Yale obtained a directed verdict in favor of a national insurance company represented by Hassett & George. The case involved a rear-end accident in which the plaintiff sued the other driver, ESPN, and her own insurance company, which was represented by Attorney Yale. After two weeks of jury selection and two weeks of trial, the Court ruled that the Plaintiff’s Counsel had not met the legal burden to prove the plaintiff’s claims alleged against her own insurance company, despite a significant jury award against the other driver.
Michael Conroy Victorious At Connecticut Appellate Court
Attorney Conroy successfully defended a real estate firm and its agent in a seven figure fraud claim, obtaining a defense verdict at trial in 2012. The plaintiff appealed the verdict to the Connecticut Appellate Court, and after extensive briefing, Attorney Conroy argued the case to the Appellate Court in December 2014. In its decision released in March 2015, the Appellate Court upheld the verdict, absolving Hassett & George‘s clients of any wrongdoing.
Hassett & George Attorneys Negotiate New Britain Fire Department Contract
As lead negotiator for the City of New Britain, Hassett & George attorneys recently negotiated the City contract with its Firefighters union. The new contract shall provide the City with an estimated $4.3 million dollar savings over the four-year contract. Attorney Ray Hassett with Attorney Rob Heagney led the negotiating team in reaching the resolution.
Mayor Erin Stewart was pleased with the outcome which provides the taxpayers with considerable savings and benefit.
Jared Alfin Obtains $57,000 Attorneys’ Fees Award In Homeowner Association Dispute
In this case, Hassett & George clients sued their neighbor, who was the developer and president of a homeowner’s association, as a result of his failure to approve a pool fence and to remove fines that were assessed against our client for violating a land-use restriction coined by the defendant as a “green zone.” Attorney Alfin successfully persuaded the court to declare the defendant’s “green zone” invalid because it was not disclosed to our clients before they purchased their property, among other things. The court also awarded our clients $57,000 in attorneys’ fees and costs pursuant to Connecticut Common Interest Ownership Act based on the defendant’s violations.
H&G Personal Injury Team Obtains $300,000 For Client
Attorneys Lou George and Jeff McDonald recovered $300,000 for the estate of a client who was tragically killed in a motorcycle accident in Middletown. After discovering that the responsible party had only $25,000 in insurance coverage, Attorneys George and McDonald pursued an underinsured motorist claim that involved disputed insurance coverage issues and exclusions. While the insurance company initially contesting the applicability of coverage, given the advocacy of the Hassett & George attorneys, the insurance company ultimately tendered the complete policy of $275,000, netting the estate a maximum recovery of $300,000.
Jared Alfin Resolved Dispute Poised To Destroy A Regional Energy Company
In an effort to save the declining value of our client’s shares in a family owned business, Attorney Jared Alfin successfully convinced the court to order the defendant shareholders, who owned the remaining 50% of the company, to repay her deceased husband’s loan and his profit sharing plan funds. In addition, the court ordered the defendants to pay our client the fair value of her shares, which is to be determined at a hearing pursuant to Connecticut law. As a result, the client was awarded $500,000, plus fair value for her shares of the company.
Commercial Transaction Team Develops $2M Private Placement Offering
Attorneys Lou George and Marty Clayman, along with paralegal Crystal Phelps, were retained to develop a private placement offering of $2,000,000. The private placement was developed to assist a long- standing institution in the Hartford area. Attorney Lou George stated, “This Offering was developed for all the right reasons, to support a long-standing historic mainstay within the fabric of Hartford County. We are proud of our involvement and our ability to lead this effort.”
Jared Alfin Recovers Deposit And Legal Fees For Client Following Failed Commercial Real Estate Deal
A client entered into a commercial real estate agreement to sell its property for $500,000. Despite several extensions of time, the buyer failed to timely secure bank financing, resulting in a default of the contract. The buyer initially disputed his breach and refused to turn over his $10,000 real estate deposit. That’s when Attorney Alfin got involved. Within days, the buyer agreed to surrender the deposit and pay all of our client’s legal fees and costs. No court action was needed.