Cases and Deals

Blank Rome Team Vindicates Eminent Surgeon Dr. John Kennedy and Clears His Name

A Blank Rome team successfully vindicated eminent surgeon Dr. John G. Kennedy, M.D., a world-renowned orthopedic foot and ankle surgeon who practices at NYU Langone, in a suit filed against him in the Southern District of New York by his former office manager, Susanne Schafmeister, for alleged sex discrimination, harassment, and retaliation. See Susanne Schafmeister v. NYU Langone Hospitals and Dr. John Kennedy, No. 1:19-cv-11875 (VSB)(DF).

The Blank Rome team was retained to represent Dr. Kennedy in February 2020 and swiftly went into action, filing a counterclaim that alleged, among other things, that Ms. Schafmeister fabricated her claims and only asserted them after being confronted by Dr. Kennedy about stealing from him by writing checks from his practice account to pay for her own lavish spending on her personal American Express card and that she had embezzled and converted over $200,000 worth of money and property from him. (Dkt. No. 55) In addition to defending the civil action, the Blank Rome team took over from another law firm the representation of Dr. Kennedy’s interests as victim in a criminal investigation by the New York County District Attorney’s office into Ms. Schafmeister’s actions based on a criminal charge brought against her for Grand Larceny in the Second Degree. The New York County District Attorney’s Office had by then obtained an Order of Protection against Ms. Schafmeister preventing her from coming into contact with Dr. Kennedy because, when in custody related to the charge of Grand Larceny, she made threats that she would “get Dr. Kennedy” and “ruin him.”

On June 21, 2021, Ms. Schafmeister pled guilty to Petit Larceny, a Class A Misdemeanor, and agreed to pay restitution to Dr. Kennedy. The People of the State New York v. Susanne Schafmeister, Docket No. CR-036794-19NY. On August 24, 2021, Ms. Schafmeister agreed to the dismissal with prejudice of all her claims against Dr. Kennedy. (Dkt. 85) Upon payment of the restitution, Dr. Kennedy has stipulated that he will withdraw his counterclaim (Dkt. 86), which he agreed to do in recognition of his complete vindication in the civil litigation. Dr. Kennedy has expressed his abiding gratitude to the Blank Rome team for their efforts in clearing his name and reputation.

The Blank Rome team was led by Anthony Haller with assistance from Jerry Bernstein, Rither Alabre, Greg Cronin, Amelia Clegg, and Harold Aryee.