Friday, July 16, 2010

An Odd Anonymous Comment -- With A Startlingly Accurate Echo

[Editorial Note: This is marginally off-topic -- and more properly "Friday Trivia", if on-topic -- so, feel free to skip it entirely, if it bores you.]

First, make of this what you will -- the source is "anonymous", after all.

This afternoon, on July 16, 2010, an unidentified commenter left a rather sad (if accurate) "update note" on a May 20, 2009 post I wrote -- concerning the former General Counsel of legacy Schering-Plough. He's now the General Counsel of UAL -- the parent of United Airlines (at least until that wipe-out merger closes).

In any event, I would dismiss the below-anonymous report, if it weren't a for what a Google search returns -- on a search of the involved couple's names and "litigation" (see below, in green -- we'll get to that in a moment).

But first, here is today's anonymous comment, in full:

Anonymous said...

Very sly, very sly indeed. Mr. Sabatino has now filed a lawsuit (2009 to date) against a young man in Camden, Maine (where he has a summer home). This man worked for him doing carpentry in 2007-8. He is suing him for a mere $12,000, monies which he and his wife willingly gave the local young man to help him out. The young man works now for $10/hr. The young man has filed a counter-lawsuit claiming severe emotional duress, sexual harrassment by Mrs. S. The Sabatino's will spend a million dollars to win this pathetic lawsuit, which they initiated. Meanwhile, the young man's future is dim(mer) than ever, and the Sabatino's will have control over his finances for the rest of the young man's life. Them's that gots, wants more. Greed at it's worst.

July 16, 2010 12:25 PM. . . .

So, as I said -- that would seem highly-unusual, for a couple sitting on perhaps $55 million, from the Schering-Plough golden parachute, alone -- to be involved, as a named plaintiff, in such relatively petty disputes (damages of $12,000 claimed).

So, in an effort to track this down, I ran a quick Google search on litigation involving the above names. Here's what popped up, right at the top, from a more than a decade ago, in Lake Forest, Illinois:
. . . .In the underlying suit, Hershenhorn alleged the following. The properties on which plaintiffs and Hershenhorn now reside were a single property from 1873 until 1945, when it was divided. Prior to the division of the property, a sanitary sewer line ran from Hershenhorn's property in a straight northerly direction across plaintiffs' property and discharged into the sewer line on Westminster Street in the City of Lake Forest. In 1996, plaintiffs applied for a variance from Lake Forest in order to construct an addition to their home. On October 17, 1996, Hershenhorn filed a letter of objection to the variance, raising the issue of the existence of an unrecorded easement for the sanitary sewer line upon plaintiffs' property. Lake Forest denied the variance and plaintiffs resubmitted modified plans without Hershenhorn's knowledge. Hershenhorn alleged that plaintiffs intentionally did not show the location of Hershenhorn's sanitary sewer line on the modified plans because otherwise plaintiffs would have had to obtain a variance from Lake Forest, permission from Hershenhorn, or both to modify or alter his easement.

Hershenhorn further alleged that plaintiffs never asked permission to alter his easement and that he told plaintiffs on numerous occasions prior to and during the construction of their home addition that plaintiffs had no right to use, alter, or modify his sewer line or to violate his easement rights. According to Hershenhorn, when plaintiffs began construction, they ruptured and broke the sanitary sewer pipe used by Hershenhorn. Without Hershenhorn's permission, plaintiffs allegedly installed a permanent modification to the sanitary sewer line by diverting and rerouting it around the new foundation which plaintiffs constructed as part of their home addition. Plaintiffs allegedly connected their new sanitary sewer line and an ejector pump system to the existing sanitary sewer line, removed a manhole, and rerouted the existing sanitary sewer line to a different manhole. Hershenhorn alleged that, as a consequence of plaintiffs' actions, debris accumulated in the sanitary sewer line, and sewage and effluent flowed onto Hershenhorn's property.

Hershenhorn filed a two-count complaint against plaintiffs seeking an award of punitive damages and preliminary and permanent injunctions to direct the restoration of the original easement; to prevent any further interference, modification, or alteration of Hershenhorn's easement rights; to provide for an inspection and evaluation of the sanitary sewer system installed by plaintiffs; and to provide for the construction of a new sanitary sewer line onto Deerpath Road.

Thereafter, plaintiffs notified defendant of the underlying litigation, requesting that it defend and indemnify them. In response, defendant denied that it had any duty under the terms of the title insurance policy to defend plaintiffs for the actions that they had taken in interfering with Hershenhorn's easement as alleged in the underlying litigation. . . .

Elsewhere in the appellate opinion, in this same Lake Forest property-line litigation, the same general counsel and his wife were sternly admonished by the court for certifying a set of factual matters that did not "appear" to be part of the court's records:
. . . .Accordingly, we admonish plaintiffs to thoroughly search the record before making unsupported assertions in their argument. . . .

That's a polite way of saying that the record below was misrepresented by the named individuals, or their lawyers. I'll let you decide which is the more likely scenario, in view of all of the rest of this information -- anonymous, and not so.

It would seem that the couple has shown a proclivity for filing suits, as plaintiffs, when they perceive that their property rights are being abridged -- even in rather trivial ways.

[Finally, this (above, top right) may or may not be the Camden, Maine home in issue in the anonymous commenters note, in blue above.]

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