6 February 2024
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Cloutier v. City of Torrington
On Wednesday, January 31, Rose Kallor, LLP received a defense verdict from a six member jury in Litchfield Superior Court at Torrington in the matter ofCloutier v. City of Torrington. Attorneys Michael Rose and Megan Nielsen successfully defended Torrington against claims that it discriminated against former officer Steven Cloutier. The three woman three man jury deliberated the case for shortly over an hour.
Mr. Cloutier retired from the Torrington Police Department in 2020. His retirement was conditioned on him receiving a disability pension and lifelong health insurance benefits. Mr. Cloutier later alleged that the City's refused to permit him to work a permanent light duty desk officer job instead of retiring. His lawsuit concluded that a refusal to transfer him to a permanent light duty position constituted discrimination against him. He filed claims of disability discrimination and failure to accommodate. Following the close of evidence, Mr. Cloutier withdrew his claim of retaliation against the City.
Mr. Cloutier and the City presented evidence over the course of four days, wherein the City disputed the claims of disability discrimination. In doing so, the City put on evidence to show that Mr. Cloutier was not capable of performing the essential functions of his job with or without an accommodation. Moreover, rather than terminate him outright, the City, the police union and Mr. Cloutier negotiated a disability pension. The City focused its case on the assistance and accommodations it had provided over four years.
In both its opening and closing, Rose noted that “the cynical could conclude that this is a case of ‘no good deed goes unpunished.' We chose instead to look at the case as an extension of the City's commitment to ‘always do the next right thing.'”
The attorneys of Rose Kallor thank the jury for its consideration, and for the City and CIRMA, the City's insurance carrier