HARTFORD (CN) - A mother blames the Romanian Basketball Federation and others for the death of her 23-year-old son, who was killed a year ago Tuesday.
Olamae Hardy says that when she agreed to let her son Chauncey Hardy play basketball in Romania, she never expected he'd come home in a body bag. But that's what happened, she claims in Federal Court.
Hardy claims her son and his team, Baschet Giurgiu, went out to celebrate after winning a game, when lead defendant Ionut Adrian Tanasoaia assaulted him.
Her son was dancing with a girl at the bar when he was assaulted, the mother says. She claims "there are conflicting reports as to whether Chauncey Hardy was then stomped on and repeated kicked by bother male patrons of the nightclub, who may have had gang-related affiliations with the original assaulter, the defendant Ionut Adrian Tanasoaia."
The mother claims that a Romanian judge found Tanasoaia guilty in the "assault and eventual death of Chauncey Hardy, but he was only found guilty, despite overwhelming evidence of assault to commit murder, of the crime of public outrage, which only vindicates the Romanian public rather than bring justice to the decedent." Tanasoaia was sentenced to 5 years in jail, Hardy says. She claims that the town of Giurgiu has a long history of gang rivalry and the basketball team, federation, and recruiters should have known that the rivalry was "intimately related to the rivalry between the two opposing teams that played on the night that Chauncey Hardy was murdered."
She claims there was a high level of anti-American and anti-African American sentiment in that part of the country.
When her son was taken to the hospital in Giurgiu, the two doctors there assumed he was in an "alcoholic coma," though he had suffered severe head trauma, a broken nose, severe contusions over his right eye, a bloody lip, massive hemorrhaging, broken skull, two neck fractures, and suffered multiple heart attacks, his mother says. She claims the doctors and hospital failed to have him transferred to a higher level hospital for more than 4 hours and ran no diagnostic tests.
She claims that Romania's health minister, Raed Arafat, was forced to resign because of his criticisms of the health-care system, partly because of his conclusions about the death of Chauncey Hardy.
Giurgiu Hospital was fined $11,200 and the two doctors were fined $920 each for Hardy's death, according to the complaint.
His mother claims the FBI has done a preliminary report on her son's death, but it's unclear whether the investigation is completed, and "to date there has been a failure to disclose photos, the autopsy report, [and] medical records."
She claims the Romanian court system refused to let her pursue a civil complaint in Romania, seeking compensation for her son's death, because of a "technicality."
Hardy seeks $5 million in compensatory damages from each defendant and $25 million from each defendant in punitive damages, for a total of $210 million.
She is represented by Richard Altschuler of West Haven.
Named as defendants are Tanasoaia, Baschet Giurgiu, Federatia Romana de Baschet aka the Romanian Basketball Federation, Spitalul Jedetean Giurgui aka Giurgiu Hospital, two Dr. John Does, and Theo Matthew Evans, of Oregon, a recruiter for the team.
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