Family files wrongful death lawsuit following basketball player's death
By WFSB Staff
WEST HAVEN, CT (WFSB) -
A multi-million dollar wrongful death lawsuit was filed by the family of a basketball player from Connecticut killed in Romania after being beaten at a bar in the country.
Chauncey Hardy, 23, was a standout basketball player at Xavier High School before being recruited to play in Romania.
"He was my Michael Jordan," said Hardy's sister, Onnalise Hardy. "I never got a chance to tell him, but I looked up to him."
Last year, Chauncey Hardy went to the bar in Romania to celebrate a big win. However, he suffered a severe brain injury that lead to his death.
"He was just there following his dream, doing what he loved and that was playing basketball," said Chauncey Hardy's mother, Onnalise Hardy.
The family of Chauncey Hardy filed a $210 million lawsuit Monday, the day before the one-year anniversary of his death. The lawsuit goes after the attacker, the Romanian Basketball League and Federation, his coach as well as his recruiter and the two doctors who treated him.
"We have hole in our heart. It's a void," Onnalise Hardy said. "A part of me is missing."
Lawyers for Chauncey Hardy's estate said precautions should have been taken by the team to ensure his safety.
"There should have been people with him because there are gangs in this town that hate each other," said attorney Rick Altschuler. "There's a lot of violence and you have to be careful of it."
Attorneys for the Hardys said he was never warned about anti-American sentiment and racial profiling. They also believe Chauncey Hardy's attacker was upset because Chauncey Hardy was dancing with a woman whom he wanted to dance with.
"It's been reported the person who hit him was the head of a local gang that was affiliated with the other team," Altschuler said.
The first hospital that treated Chauncey Hardy failed to transport him to another until 4 1/2 hours later.
"If his murder was an outrage to the Romanian public, then what was it to Ola May Hardy and her two daughters," Altschuler said.
Lawyers said they believe the only fair trial would be possible in the United States.
Onnalise Hardy said her son was happy about playing basketball in Romania, but also worried about the tension in the country.
"Maybe, he was thinking of moving to Bucharest," she said. "He felt that he was getting harassed and was tired of people asking him if he was a drug dealer."
Attorneys said other goals include getting access to autopsy results, witness statements and learning who testified at his trial.
Those involved in the lawsuit have 21 days to respond once they receive notice.
The case will likely in be heard in federal court in Bridgeport. However, it will take a couple of years until it is heard.
Copyright 2012 WFSB (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.