Appellate Court Affirms Verdict for Garrison, Levin-Epstein Client in Defamation Case

Feb 24 2015

In an opinion released on February 24, the Connecticut Appellate Court affirmed a jury verdict for Garrison, Levin-Epstein client Jeffrey Nelson in his defamation and tortious interference case against his former employer, Tradewind Aviation.  Mr. Nelson is a pilot who lost a job offer from a subsequent airline when Tradewind wrongly told that airline that he was involuntarily fired from his job at Tradewind, that he had been removed from flying status for incompetence, and that he was suspected of taking drugs.

In 2011, a jury awarded Mr. Nelson over $400,000 in damages, including punitive damages. Tradewind appealed to the Appellate Court.

As trial counsel and lead attorney for Mr. Nelson, Garrison, Levin-Epstein partner Steve Fitzgerald argued the appeal at the Appellate Court.  He was assisted by Attorney Josh Goodbaum, who was the principal drafter of the appellate briefs.

The Appellate Court’s opinion can be found here.

In an article in the Connecticut Law Tribune (available here), Steve Fitzgerald said: “‘If they’re going to speak falsely and negatively about their former employees,’ then employers had better be prepared to pay damages if it hurts former employees’ careers.”

The lawyers of Garrison, Levin-Epstein advocate for the legal rights of employees, including those who are subject to defamation and who lose a job offer because of a previous employer’s misrepresentations.


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Stephen J. Fitzgerald

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Garrison, Levin-Epstein, Fitzgerald & Pirrotti, P.C.

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    During a very difficult employment situation, I was referred to Joe Garrison. Recognizing the volatile and time sensitive nature of my employment situation, Mr. Garrison met with me immediately (on the weekend no less). He listened to the details of my case, was able to think through possible creative solutions to offer the employer, and was responsive to my myriad of questions. He understood my concerns about litigation versus settlement, and he worked to find the best resolution possible. I am grateful to have had his support at a very difficult time. —J.C., New Haven, CT

    You will never meet a more knowledgeable and compassionate professional than Steve Fitzgerald. My employment situation was very complex, and Attorney Fitzgerald kept me focused while remaining extremely adept and “thinking on his feet.” Should the need present itself again, I would never seek anyone else’s counsel regarding employment issues. I cannot recommend him highly enough. — J.R., New Haven, CT

    Nina Pirrotti provided outstanding legal advice and was trustworthy, dependable, and responsive. From the start, I was confident that her knowledge and experience would obtain favorable results. On a more personal note, I enjoyed working with her and her staff and felt I was included in every part of the process. The dedication, concern, and interest in me as a client was greatly appreciated, and Nina has earned my highest recommendation. — J.H., Monroe, CT

    I recently found myself in need of a lawyer in handling a dispute with my former employer. I was fortunate to retain Josh Goodbaum as my legal counsel. His legal skills knowledge and professionalism shone through in every step of the process resulting in a very positive result. I highly recommend Josh if you find yourself in need of legal counsel. — S.R., Guilford, CT

    When I go to a lawyer for advice, I am usually anxious, particularly the first meeting. Amanda DeMatteis was clear in describing my options and immediately set me at ease. Realistic assessment is important, and Amanda was clear as to how to set up the case and the direction she felt we should go. I had total confidence in her abilities and knew I was being well represented against a large corporation. More importantly, we were successful! —N.M., Haddam, CT

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