Image via WikipediaFor more than four decades, reporter George Gombossy toiled at The Hartford Courant, the last two years as a consumer watchdog columnist.
Now Gombossy, who was ousted by the Tribune Co-owned daily this past summer, has sued his former employer for allegedly violating his free speech rights after he allegedly told his editors that he planned to write a column about a state probe of Sleepy's mattress company, a Courant advertiser.
The case filed in Hartfrod County Superior Court (Gombossy v. Hartford Courant Communications et al, HHD-cv09-5033169-S) seeks attorneys' fees and punitive damages, along with past and future economic damages, including retirement benefits. Gombossy contends that management pressured him when he blogged or wrote columns that were critical of Courant advertisers.
The defendants have not responded to the Complaint, but previously have said Gombossy's job loss was a business decision. Gombossy presently runs his own consumer-oriented Web site.
To update the old adage, the Courant should know better than to argue with someone who buys bytes by the barrel.