AP NEWS

Palosz case stalled again in dispute over documents

March 19, 2019

GREENWICH — A judge has determined that Greenwich school officials must turn over documents they have to a family suing the town of Greenwich over the suicide of their teenage son.

But the process of “discovery,” in which documents, police reports and other evidence is shared, is being contested.

Lawyers for the family of Bart Palosz have sought to obtain records from the town and the school district, in a wrongful-death lawsuit involving the death of Bart, a 15-year-old boy who killed himself after what his parents say were years of being bullied in Greenwich schools.

The Palosz plaintiffs are seeking to obtain information of “every incident or alleged incident of physical or emotional bullying, teasing, harassment, ridicule and/or intimidation directed toward Bart Palosz,” according to court documents filed in state Superior Court.

The Palosz legal team also wants documents related to any incidents in which Bart was harassed at Western Middle School, such as one instance in which he was allegedly tripped by another student.

The plaintiffs also want to obtain “all Greenwich Police Department reports, statements and documents pertaining or referring to its investigation of Bart Palosz’s suicide,” as well as his schools records and any internal correspondence about him.

The discovery phase of the lawsuit was delayed, while procedural issues around the case went to the state’s highest court.

But now the town’s legal team is raising objections to the release of the documents. The objections filed in Superior Court in Stamford contend that the release could violate the attorney-client privilege, among other procedural issues. The challenge filed by the town’s attorney, Harold Friedman, also says the material requested “does not accurately characterize the facts” of the case.

A judge has yet to rule on the objections.

The lawsuit was filed against the town and the school board in August 2015, and it claims that the school administration was negligent in its handling of Bart’s circumstances.

Bart shot himself in the head after the first day of his sophomore year at Greenwich High School in 2013.

The town’s legal staff has denied that school officials acted improperly, according to court documents, and said the other claims in the lawsuit will have to be proven. The town’s lawyers said numerous documents have already been turned over.

The amount of damages has not been specified.

A trial could be held in early 2020, according to the Superior Court case schedule.

rmarchant@greenwichtime.com