Rondiene Novitz and Scott Gurtman Won Defense Verdict

Plaintiff Ann Marie Governale sued the Cold Spring Harbor School District, claiming they terminated her position as a Teacher’s Assistant because she was outspoken about inadequate services being provided to Special Education students in violation of the retaliation provision of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). The Cold Spring Harbor district argued that they did not terminate Plaintiff because of her alleged advocacy, but because she continuously criticizes her teaching colleagues in front of other teachers, was insubordinate to her superiors and also acted unprofessionally by engaging in shouting matches with school personnel during school hours.

The case was tried in the Federal Court, Eastern District before Judge Azrack. After three days of testimony, the Jury deliberated for one hour and returned a verdict in favor of the Defendants.