Reardon says Gunnery school lawsuit settled on eve of trial

The Gunnery School and former staff members settled a civil lawsuit brought by a teenage boy who was molested by the prep school’s former dean as the case was headed for trial.

New London attorney Robert I. Reardon Jr. had represented “John Doe,” a teenage boy who was molested by the former dean of the preparatory school in Washington, Conn. Reardon said his client settled for an undisclosable sum of money on Sept. 28, the day after attorneys had finished selecting a jury to hear the case in Hartford Superior Court.

Judge William H. Bright Jr. had been mediating with the parties before and during jury selection, according to Reardon. The attorneys had picked six regular members and three alternates and were about to begin testimony when the parties were able to agree on a settlement.

The former dean, Robert Reinhardt, 48, is serving a 9 1/2-year prison sentence for sexually assaulting four boys at the school, including Reardon’s client, a Greenwich resident who is now 19. The other victims had settled with the school prior to jury selection. The plaintiff, who was the first to disclose in 2009 that he had been molested by Reinhardt, was prepared to get on the witness stand and tell the jury what happened, according to Reardon.

The teen’s family had sued The Gunnery, former Headmaster Susan Graham, former dormitory parent Dana Jackson and Reinhardt. Reardon said there was no settlement with Reinhardt because there was no likelihood of recovering any money due to the former dean’s incarceration. The plaintiff could sue Reinhardt in the future, however, since the statute of limitations does not expire for another 20 years, according to Reardon.

Attorney Thomas Gerarde of the Howd & Ludorf law firm of Hartford had represented the Gunnery and its former staff.

 

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