Jaspan Schlesinger LLP Wins Dismissal of Case Against Riverhead Town Attorney
Date: August 6th, 2012
Location:Garden City, New York
Jaspan Schlesinger LLP, led by partner Maureen Liccione and associate Daniel Shapiro, has won summary judgment dismissing litigation commenced by Riverhead Park Corp., a local real estate developer, against Riverhead town attorney Dawn C. Thomas. The federal lawsuit sought to hold Ms. Thomas personally liable for a stop-work order she issued on behalf of the town building department to prevent allegedly illegal clearing of a parcel owned by the plaintiff on Route 58 in Riverhead.
"I was pleased but not at all surprised that the federal court found that the claims against me were baseless,” Ms. Thomas said. "I am quite confident that the balance of the lawsuit will ultimately be dismissed and that the others named in the suit will, like me, be vindicated with regard to the actions taken to enforce Town code and protect the environment.”
"The court ruled that someone cannot be held liable for merely doing his or her job,” Ms. Liccione said. Jaspan Schlesinger has successfully litigated several cases where municipal employees or contractors were sued personally as the result of performing their job responsibilities.
"Suing someone for doing their job in a way with which you might disagree is an abuse of the civil rights statutes. It is one thing to sue a municipality, but when you sue a municipal employee personally it has a chilling effect on the operation of local government,” Ms. Liccione said.