A story brewing today doesn’t have much to do with food, but it relates to one of Connecticut’s largest food magnates.
Stew Leonard Sr., founder of the animatronic-filled Connecticut grocery chain, and his son, Thomas Leonard, are being sued by the wife of a former Westport home builder who died after being washed off Leonard’s 70-foot powerboat, “Stew’s Special,” in the Caribbean last year.
In the lawsuit filed Wednesday, Barbara Speranza claims her husband, Robert Speranza, 73, died as the result of reckless and negligent behavior on the part of Leonard and his son.
Leonard Sr., in turn, says the boat was hit by a 12- to 15-foot “rogue wave” that “came out of nowhere” while the men were about a mile offshore Virgin Gorda in the British Islands.
This isn’t the first time the octogenarian has found himself in court. In 1993, Stew Leonard Sr. was convicted of committing tax fraud through a scheme to divert more than $17 million in cash register receipts over a ten-year period. He ultimately served several years in prison.
To read more and watch video of the boat, click here.