Monday, November 26, 2007

Giants Stadium Settlement to Remain Sealed; Judge Explains Why

Via Overlawyered, the New Jersey Law Journal reports that the trial court judge overseeing the overserving lawsuit against Aramark has refused to unseal the settlement and explained why:

On Friday, the judge made public his June 7 opinion explaining his rationale, and it was all about the girl's father, Ronald Verni.

In 2004, a court appointed a guardian for the girl after learning that Verni had unlawfully used settlement money from other defendants to buy a condominium and had also misappropriated her social security money, Wilson wrote.

A series of domestic violence incidents led to permanent restraining orders that bar Verni from contacting his family or seeing his children without supervision, the judge wrote.

"By sealing the record of any potential settlement, the estranged father is far less likely to return to New Jersey and continuing his unlawful behavior," Wilson wrote.

A lawyer for Public Citizen (which sought to unseal the file) said that he didn't believe publishing the amount of the settlement would increase any risks.

The original lawsuit complained of a "culture of intoxication" at Giants stadium; perhaps of note, last week's story about harassment at Gate D at the same stadium observed that the stupidity there largely only occurred during Jets games (the Verni case involved a Giants game).

--BC

http://lawprofessors.typepad.com/tortsprof/2007/11/giants-stadium.html

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