Partners Stephen Fitzgerald, Joshua Goodbaum Obtain a Jury Verdict of $1.8 Million for Their Client in Breach of Contract Claim

Nov 12 2019

Garrison, Levin-Epstein, Fitzgerald & Pirrotti, P.C. Partners Stephen Fitzgerald and Joshua Goodbaum obtained a $1,804,454.80 jury verdict against Hartford Healthcare Medical Group on behalf of their client Dr. Paul Preissler, a heart surgeon in the Waterbury area.

A jury of six Connecticut citizens deliberated for approximately four hours before finding for Preissler on his legal claims of breach of contract and breach of the implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing against his former employer, Hartford Healthcare Medical Group.

“We are pleased that the jury saw there should be consequences for Hartford Healthcare Medical Group’s breach and the devastating impact it had on Dr. Preissler’s Hartford-based surgical practice,” says Goodbaum. “Dr. Preissler is a wonderful man, and we are thrilled for him and his family.  We only wish that heart surgery patients in the Hartford area had been able to benefit from his surgical excellence over the past five years.”

Preissler had a separation agreement with his former employer that required Hartford Healthcare Medical Group to instruct three of its employed surgeons to provide Preissler with clinical coverage at Hartford Hospital, which he needed to maintain his surgical privileges at the Hospital and continue his surgical practice in the Hartford area.

Attorneys Fitzgerald and Goodbaum proved to the jury that Hartford Healthcare Medical Group not only failed to instruct the surgeons to provide the promised coverage, it also obstructed the surgeons from providing the coverage they were otherwise willing to provide. This resulted in the decimation of Preissler’s Hartford-area surgical practice, which he had built for more than 30 years.

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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

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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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