Time once again to bring back an occasional feature that takes a look at stories that have now fallen from the local newspapers’ headlines. After all, have you ever noticed that it is somehow "big news" that a lawsuit is filed but you rarely hear about a lawsuit’s dismissal?
This installment updates the lawsuit that was brought against the Tribune Company by its former "watchdog", George Gombossy. I reported on the case last fall. He claimed in the lawsuit that he was fired in retaliation for speech that was protected by the First Amendment (and its state law equivalent, Conn. Gen. Stat. Sec. 31-51q).
Earlier this month, a Superior Court judge threw out the lawsuit concluding that Gombossy’s legal claim was without merit. Gombossy has detailed the decision on his new website.
In doing so, the Court rather easily dismisses the notion that Gombossy had any First Amendment right to have his columns published by the Hartford Courant and notes that he has no First Amendment rights when the speech was "on the job". The court also dismisses his claim that his company made certain promises about his job to him.
But as with all of these types of claims, the lawsuit is far from over. Gombossy filed an amended complaint last week again raising claims of wrongful discharge and promissory estoppel. Whether this new complaint will survive another motion will have to be the subject of another "What Ever Happened To…" column later this year or next.