It has been a good week for UConn coach Geno Auriemma. Not only did he guide the Huskies to an NCAA-record ninth national championship in Nashville Tuesday, he also earned a victory in court in New York earlier in the day.
The employment discrimination lawsuit case filed against Auriemma by former NBA security official Kelley Hardwick was dismissed by the Manhattan Appellate Division.
“I think we’re very pleased with the outcome and happy that the Appellate court agreed with the lower court,’’ said Auriemma’s attorney Barry Levy of Rivkin Radler LLP. “And we think that the analysis that they went through is the correct statement of the law.’’
Judge Cynthia S. Kern initially dismissed the case in Manhattan Supreme Court April 11, 2013 on the basis that Auriemma does not live or work in New York. The suit, which was originally filed in June of 2012, stated that Hardwick was removed from the security detail of the U.S. Women’s National Team because she allegedly spurned the sexual advances of Auriemma in Europe in 2009.
Hardwick’s attorney, Randolph M. McLaughlin of Newman Ferrara LLP, then filed an amended complaint in October of 2012 alleging that she was “subjected to a hostile work environment and a verbal assault by Auriemma and other acts meant to intimidate and retaliate against her’’ for originally filing the lawsuit, while she was serving on the security detail for the U.S. Men’s Olympic Basketball Team in London in 2012.
“She has right to seek leave to appeal to the New York Court of Appeals, which is the state’s highest court,’’ Levy said. “But it’s a discretionary appeal and very few cases are accepted by the court on a yearly basis. Obviously, no one knows what the Court of Appeals might do. But I think the fact that this was a unanimous decision by the Appellate Division and that the fact that there’s no conflicting decisions at the appellate level reduces the chances that the Court of Appeals would accept this case.’’