Thursday, November 21, 2013

Family of missing man Billy Smolinski argues against paying judgment in civil case

By Michelle Tuccitto Sullo
Investigations Editor
HARTFORD >> The state Appellate Court heard arguments Wednesday on whether two family members of missing man William "Billy" Smolinski Jr. should have to pay a $52,666 judgment to Smolinski’s former girlfriend.
Superior Court Judge Thomas Corradino in 2012 awarded $52,666 in damages to Madeleine Gleason of Woodbridge, who had dated Smolinski until they broke up just before his 2004 disappearance.
Gleason sued his mother, Janice Smolinski of Cheshire, and sister, Paula Bell, in 2006, claiming they harassed, defamed and falsely accused her of involvement in his disappearance. Corradino’s award included $32,000 for intentional infliction of emotional distress, $7,500 for defamation and $13,166 in punitive damages.
The Smolinski family appealed Corradino’s ruling to the state Appellate Court, and attorneys for both sides presented their arguments Wednesday. A decision is expected to take several months.

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