Judge cuts award to woman sued by Blumenthal

This was just about the ugliest case I can think of from an AG. Well other than suing the Big East and cereal boxes. Here’s the background first … and a Hat Tip to Rick. I actually read Facebook this morning. Heh!

First let me say this is exactly what an AG should be doing, legal counsel for the state and its agencies, not suing cereal boxes and phone companies. That however does not make this suit right, or does it?

From the Hartford Courant … a company called Computers Plus had sold the state 44 computers that the state says did not work. Since the company had already sold the state thousands of computers the state did an audit and claimed the computers were also missing a second network card. Blumy, of course, was outraged. He claimed that CP ripped off tax payers and filed suit, and later the Staties arrested Gina Malapanis, the woman who owned CP. Those charges were dropped and she  filed a counter suit saying she, and her company had been damaged big time. She won and a Waterbury jury awarded her $18 large, Until this week that is.

A Superior Court judge Friday slashed an $18 million verdict against the state to $1.83 million, saying that the jury had made a mistake in awarding the money to an East Hartford computer company that supplied equipment to the state.

The initial verdict in January had shocked Attorney General Richard Blumenthal‘s office and legal experts and brought criticism to Blumenthal for trying the case against Gina Malapanis, the former owner of Computers Plus Center Inc. The jury in Waterburyruled that the state, in particular the Department of Information Technology, had deliberately destroyed her business.

But Judge Barry Stevens ruled late Friday that the verdict was too high, calling it a “shocking injustice.”

A shocking injustice? I don’t know the details because I have not read the court documents, and my guess is most people have not. But a jury sure thought the state was over the top and while the Judge said he did not want to be the 7th juror, he was.

Blumenthal says he will keep appealing until he gets the verdict reduced to nothing, but even this Judge rejected that argument. All he is doing is denying this woman justice, which is how this system works which is why no more lawyers in Congress.

Am I wrong? … and thanks Rick for the heads up.

9 replies
  1. Rick-WH
    Rick-WH says:

    Jim, thanks for the hat tip.

    Good news, the state is not out $ 18 million.  More good news, this will bring this case back to the forefront.  Why did Blumenthal sue this business to begin with?  How many other suits (or threats) have been brought against Connecticut businesses?


  2. winnie888
    winnie888 says:

    It's a bit disturbing that the judge can neuter an entire jury…where did HE come up with his number of 1.83 million?  Did he consider the lost business, her diminished reputation in the business community?

    As Rickster said, it's good that the state isn't out 18 mil.  But perhaps Blumie should think long and hard about any pending suits…

    • GdavidH
      GdavidH says:

      No offense to Winnie or Rick, I actually agree whole heartedly except for one point. You can't say the state is not out 18 million. No one knows what the state is "out". It's cases like these, the ones that go on endlessly straining the AG's department, that cause these gov't agencies to swell to the behemoths they have become. The bloated court system in this state, and this country has nearly ground itself to a complete halt, mostly due to liberal judges writng law in their courtroom or attorneys endlessly arguing the inane in order to push their agenda. Note the Cheshire murder case.

        I believe this all costs the taxpayer much more than anyone could pin down. What would, or should, the AG's budget be in a common sense legal system???

  3. pauldow
    pauldow says:

    Woo Hoo! I have jury duty next week. Citing this case on how judge Stevens thinks juries are worthless should move me out pretty quickly. Also, I've gotten summoned three times in the past four years. Is everyone in Hartford dead again?

    Regarding this case; What did the state do to try to resolve the situation before bring it to a trial?

  4. sammy22
    sammy22 says:

    Been away for a month, logged inyond: same old "stuff". Hope you look beyond the "c0nfines" of CT , or for that  matter the USA.

    • winnie888
      winnie888 says:

      Jim & Steve are constantly covering nat'l and international stories of interest as well as the "fun stuff" in CT…so your wish/hope has been granted!

  5. billd531
    billd531 says:

    First of all, it sounds like this company has done good business with the State up to this last goof up. In which case, why did the State sue this person at all? It should have been handled on a much lower level.  That said…..

    A settlement of 18 Million dollars is typical of juriest these days. After all it's not their money or is it?  Yes, this woman's company was damaged but not to the point ( I'm sure ) of going out of business. With that amount of money, a company could survive for decades without doing much of anything. Is that called Company Welfare?

      Once again Blumenthal's office put it's nose into something it shouldn't have….

  6. Anne-EH
    Anne-EH says:

    UGLY is right Jim!

    This is suing to the EXTREME by the AG. What will it accomplish, NOT MUCH except to make CT a lot less business friendly.

  7. Lynn
    Lynn says:

    Jim, Thank you, thank you. Now, this is what we hang Blumenthal with. It has more legs than his lying, because people are so forgiving. I know there are a lot more cases than this, and as Rick says this particular issue might be good news because Blumenthal saved us taxpayers some money. But, if we all do a little digging maybe we can do a little damage! I can't believe I am beginning to have some hope!

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