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A blog on UConn women's basketball.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Employee discrimination lawsuit against Geno Auriemma dismissed



The employee discrimination filed against UConn women’s basketball coach Geno Auriemma and USA Basketball by NBA security officer Kelley Hardwick in the Supreme Court in Manhattan on June 11 has been dismissed.

The court ruled that the lawsuit filed in Hardwick’s behalf “lack subject matter jurisdiction” and “this court find that the alleged discriminatory conduct or retaliation had no impact in New York.”
In the official dismissal filed on Monday, it was written that “plaintiff's complaint contains allegations of discrimination which took place outside of New York by foreign corporations or non-residents. It is undisputed that defendant USAB is a foreign corporation and neither Auriemma or (USA Basketball CEO Jim) Tooley reside within New York State.”

Hardwick alleges that Auriemma attempted to kiss her in the hallway of a hotel in Ekaterinburg, Russia in 2009. Auriemma was there as the head coach of the U.S. senior national team while Hardwick provided security detail during the tournament the U.S. squad was playing in.

Hardwick claims that Auriemma sought to have her removed from providing security for the U.S. national team due to her rejection of Auriemma’s advances.

In the initial filing Hardwick claimed that she received “significantly diminished material responsibilities” after Auriemma said he did not want Hardwick to prove security for the U.S. women’s team at the 2012 Olympics. Hardwick did not work security for the U.S. women’s basketball team but was on the security detail for the U.S. men’s Olympic basketball squad. USA Basketball and the National Basketball Association were also included as part of the lawsuit.

Auriemma’s attorneys filed a response denying the accusations and questioning whether he was liable to be sued since he does not reside or work in New York. An amended complaint was filed attempted to prove his actions do fall under the jurisdiction of New York since he had business dealings with New York-based companies. However, the court ruled that Hardwick’s amended complaint did not prove that.
“Mr. Auriemma is very pleased with the decision,” said Kenneth Novikoff, one of the attorneys representing Auriemma. “He unconditionally denies all of the allegations against him made by the plaintiff and he was confident that when the court reviewed all the facts and all of the arguments that the case would be dismissed so he is pleased that the case has been dismissed.”

USA Basketball issued a statement on Tuesday regarding the dismissal of the lawsuit against them.
“USA Basketball received noticed yesterday that it as well as Geno Auriemma has been dismissed from the lawsuit filed in New York by Kelley Hardwick. USA Basketball is pleased with decision and will make no further comment on the litigation.”

Attorneys for Hardwick filed an appeal on Tuesday. An attorney for Hardwick did not immediately return a call seeking comment while Auriemma referred questions to his attorney and declined to comment.





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