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MON-L-003736-18 10/15/2018 12:50:26 PM Pg 1 of 4 Trans ID: LCV20181795229

Paul Castronovo (Attorney ID # 015651999)


CASTRONOVO & McKINNEY, LLC
71 Maple Avenue
Morristown, NJ 07960
(973) 920-7888
Attorneys for Plaintiff
Jennifer Paglia

SUPERIOR COURT OF NEW JERSEY


JENNIFER PAGLIA, LAW DIVISION – MONMOUTH COUNTY

Plaintiff, DOCKET NO:

v. Civil Action

BOROUGH OF MATAWAN, COMPLAINT AND JURY DEMAND

Defendant.

Plaintiff, Jennifer Paglia (“Plaintiff”), through her attorneys, Castronovo & McKinney,

LLC, files this Complaint and Jury Demand seeking compensatory damages, punitive damages,

attorneys’ fees, and costs of suit from Defendant, Borough of Matawan (“Defendant”), and alleges

as follows:

FACTS

A. Jurisdiction and Venue

1. Plaintiff resides at 354 Hutchinson Drive, Freehold, Monmouth County, New

Jersey.

2. Defendant is a municipal government entity with a principal place of operation at

201 Broad Street, Matawan, New Jersey.

B. Plaintiff’s Employment, Sex Discrimination Lawsuit, and Retaliation.

3. Defendant has employed Plaintiff from September 1998 to the present as a police

officer.
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4. In September 2013, Plaintiff filed a lawsuit in the Superior Court of New Jersey

alleging sex discrimination against Defendant.

5. Plaintiff and Defendant voluntarily resolved her lawsuit in a settlement agreement

signed on February 16, 2016 which required Defendant to pay Plaintiff a settlement within 60 days

(that is, by April 16, 2016).

6. After resolving Plaintiff’s sex discrimination lawsuit, Defendant started a

campaign of retaliatory harassment against her.

7. Between May 7 and August 16, 2016, Defendant issued five notices of discipline

against Plaintiff for alleged “misconduct,” “neglect of duty,” “conduct unbecoming a public

employee,” and various violations of “general duties and responsibilities.”

8. For four of those discipline notices, Defendant sought to suspend Plaintiff for 50

days without pay.

9. Plaintiff opposed those four charges at a hearing conducted on January 30, 2018.

10. After the hearing, the hearing officer hired by Defendant suspended Plaintiff for 16

days.

11. Defendant then suspended Plaintiff without pay for 16 days from September 14 to

October 14, 2018.

12. Defendant did not discipline Officers Eric Otten, Jeffrey Bodner, Andrew Marsala,

and other male police officers for the same or similar alleged offenses.

13. On October 16, 2016, Defendant ordered Plaintiff to submit to a psychiatric

examination to determine her fitness for duty.

14. Plaintiff passed the psychiatric examination and she was determined fit for duty on

October 16, 2016.

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COUNT I

LAD – Retaliation

15. Plaintiff repeats and incorporates the facts alleged in the preceding paragraphs.

16. At all times, Plaintiff satisfactorily performed her job for Defendant.

17. In filing and resolving a lawsuit alleging sex discrimination, Plaintiff engaged in

activity protected by the Law Against Discrimination.

18. Defendant’s unpaid suspension of Plaintiff’s employment and accompanying

retaliatory harassment constitutes an adverse employment action by Defendant.

19. Defendant suspended Plaintiff’s employment and harassed her with discipline

because she exercised her rights under the Law Against Discrimination to assert claims of sex

discrimination against Defendant.

20. Defendant’s actions violate the Law Against Discrimination, N.J.S.A. 10:5-1, et

seq.

21. Defendant’s conduct was willful, malicious and/or especially egregious and done

with the knowledge and/or participation of upper level management, including but not limited to

then-Chief Jason Gallo, former Lt. Ben Smith, among others.

22. As a result of Defendant’s wrongful conduct, Plaintiff has suffered, and continues

to suffer, damages including: back pay, emotional distress, and other damages.

WHEREFORE, Plaintiff seeks judgment against Defendant on the sole count awarding

her compensatory damages, punitive damages, attorneys’ fees, costs of suit, pre- and post-

judgment interest, and all other relief that the Court deems equitable and just.

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CASTRONOVO & McKINNEY, LLC

Dated: October 15, 2018 By:__________________________


Paul Castronovo
Attorneys for Plaintiff

DEMAND FOR TRIAL BY JURY

Plaintiff demands a trial by jury on all issues so triable.

CASTRONOVO & McKINNEY, LLC

Dated: October 15, 2018 By:__________________________


Paul Castronovo
Attorneys for Plaintiff

DESIGNATION OF TRIAL COUNSEL

Plaintiff designates Paul Castronovo as trial counsel in this action.

CASTRONOVO & McKINNEY, LLC

Dated: October 15, 2018 By:__________________________


Paul Castronovo
Attorneys for Plaintiff

RULE 4:5-1 CERTIFICATION

I hereby certify that this matter is not the subject of any other pending civil action or

arbitration proceeding. I further certify that I know of no other parties who should be joined in

this litigation at the present time.

CASTRONOVO & McKINNEY, LLC

Dated: October 15, 2018 By:__________________________


Paul Castronovo
Attorneys for Plaintiff