A Manhattan federal court judge has tossed a civil lawsuit that alleged a renowned orthopedic surgeon at NYU Langone turned into a vindictive ex-boyfriend when his office manager broke up with him, according to court papers.
Dr. John G. Kennedy — who heads the foot and ankle division of the hospital’s Department of Orthopedic Surgery — was accused of blitzing Susanne Shafmeister with “egregious and frightening threats and harassment” shortly after their relationship deteriorated in late 2018, according to the two-year-old suit.
Her 2019 complaint alleged sex discrimination, harassment and retaliation.
But attorneys for the surgeon filed a counterclaim that alleged Schafmeister cooked up her claims after being confronted by Kennedy about stealing from him by writing checks from his practice account to pay for “her own lavish spending” — embezzling more than $200,000.
The Manhattan District Attorney’s office filed a grand larceny charge against Schafmeister and Kennedy obtained an order of protection against her, court papers state.
On June 21, Schafmeister pleaded guilty to petit larceny, a Class A misdemeanor, and agreed to pay $2,000 restitution to Kennedy.
A Manhattan federal court judge dismissed Schafmeister’s lawsuit on Aug. 24, court filings show.
“The collapse of Ms. Schafmeister’s case, and subsequent dismissal by the court, is unequivocally a victory for the truth,” said a spokesman for Kennedy, adding, “This all came at a grave cost and is a sad statement that even in victory Dr. Kennedy is still left to repair the extensive damage he’s endured personally, professionally, and especially reputationally.”
The spokesman said the damage “has extended beyond himself to his children, family, friends, and colleagues” and Kennedy “can now move forward and focus on picking up the pieces and is hopeful that this situation may shine a light on the harm that false allegations, particularly when publicized, inflict on their targets.”
Said Kennedy’s attorney Anthony Haller: “Accusations are easy to make, but fortunately Dr. Kennedy had truth on his side.”
An attorney for Schafmeister said, “the case has been resolved.”
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