Norman Hanson & DeTroy LLC
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Experienced, efficient business law and litigation services.
September  23, 2015

NHD Wins Historic Jury Verdict


            On July 23, 2015, Norman, Hanson & DeTroy, led by trial attorneys Peter DeTroy, Devin Deane, Russ Pierce, and Sadie Jones, obtained a $14.5 million jury verdict in United States District Court in favor of their clients, Michael Geilenfeld, St. Joseph’s Family, and Hearts with Haiti, Inc.  Mr. Geilenfeld, a former brother with Mother Teresa’s Missionary Brothers of Charity, is the founder and executive director of St. Joseph’s Family, which operates a network of nonprofit institutions that serve disabled and disadvantaged Haitian children, and Hearts with Haiti is a U.S.-based non-profit that serves as a major fundraising organization for St. Joseph’s Family and the children in its care.  The verdict was the culmination of nearly three years of litigation against Paul Kendrick of Freeport, Maine for his numerous internet statements, which falsely accused Mr. Geilenfeld and others at St. Joseph’s Family of abusing children and Hearts with Haiti of supporting an organization that abused children.  Mr. Kendrick’s targeted defamation dismantled Mr. Geilenfeld’s, St. Joseph’s Family’s, and Hearts with Haiti’s fundraising networks in the United States and Canada and cost them nearly $4 million in lost donations—all in the aftermath of the devastating Haitian earthquake in 2010 that destroyed two of the three children’s homes and schools they operate.  After a three-week jury trial in Portland, Maine, the ten-member jury returned unanimous verdicts for Mr. Geilenfeld, St. Joseph Family, and Hearts with Haiti.  The trial and $14.5 million verdict, which represents the largest defamation verdict and one of the largest jury verdicts in Maine’s history, received a lot of local and national media attention—including the New York Times, which quoted Peter DeTroy’s successful closing argument and theme of the case: “The computer keyboard is a lot mightier than the pen and the sword . . . . [H]alf-truths, exaggerations, distortions and outright falsehoods spread via electronic communication can eviscerate one’s reputation and one’s life work.” 

Other Firm News

  • August  31,  2017  Norman Hanson & DeTroy Attorneys Receive Honors from Best Lawyers  read article
  • August  31,  2017  WC Appellate Division decision issued on August 31, 2017 - Satisfying the Burden of Proof  read article
  • August  11,  2017  WC Appellate Division decision issued on August 11, 2017 - PI and Burden of Production  read article