Palosz Fam­ily law­suit can move for­ward

Stamford Advocate - - Newsbites - Robert Marchant rmarchant@green­

GREEN­WICH — A law­suit filed by the fam­ily of a 15-year-old Green­wich boy who killed him­self after re­port­edly be­ing bul­lied in school can pro­ceed now that the state’s high court has de­clined to con­sider an ap­peal to dis­miss the case.

More than five years after the teenager’s death, the case has yet to move for­ward with de­po­si­tions or pre­lim­i­nary trial pro­ceed­ings.

Lawyers for the Town of Green­wich have re­peat­edly chal­lenged the law­suit brought by the fam­ily of Bart­lomiej “Bart” Palosz on pro­ce­dural grounds. In Au­gust, the case went to the state Ap­pel­late Court for re­view, prin­ci­pally on the is­sue of “sov­er­eign im­mu­nity,” a le­gal con­cept that as­serts that govern­ment em­ploy­ees or bod­ies can­not be sued for their of­fi­cial acts.

The Ap­pel­late Court de­ter­mined that the trial court judge acted prop­erly in dis­miss­ing the town’s re­quest to re­ject the law­suit.

Late last month, the Con­necti­cut Supreme Court de­clined a pe­ti­tion to re­view the Ap­pel­late Court’s de­ci­sion, mean­ing the case can now go for­ward.

Bart Palosz shot him­self in the head after the first day of his sopho­more year at Green­wich High School in Au­gust 2013. His fam­ily con­tends that school of­fi­cials did not in­ves­ti­gate or dis­ci­pline stu­dents who had bul­lied their son, and they filed a law­suit against the Town of Green­wich and the Board of Ed­u­ca­tion.

The prin­ci­pal lawyer for the town on the case, Harold Fried­man, said there are “sig­nif­i­cant le­gal ques­tions” that needed to be re­solved be­fore the facts of the case could be ad­dressed in court pro­ceed­ings, hence the need for ap­peals to the up­per courts.

Be­sides the is­sue of sov­er­eign im­mu­nity, the town’s le­gal team said there were am­bi­gu­i­ties with the mean­ing of an­tibul­ly­ing laws that needed to be ad­dressed.

The Su­pe­rior Court de­clined to re­view the Palosz case in a brief le­gal mem­o­ran­dum, with- out ex­pla­na­tion.

David Golub, the lawyer for the Palosz fam­ily, ex­pressed sat­is­fac­tion with the lat­est rul­ing in the lon­grun­ning case.

Since the re­cent de­ci­sion by the Supreme Court, no court hear­ings have been sched­uled on the case.

The Palosz suit could pro­ceed on one of two tracks, Golub said. Lawyers could be­ing a process lead­ing to a ne­go­ti­ated set­tle­ment — “we’re al­ways open to ne­go­ti­a­tions,” he said.

If a deal isn’t reached, dis­cov­ery in the civil case will be­gin with wit­nesses called in for de­po­si­tions and doc­u­ments col­lected and cat­a­loged.

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