Restaurant Fired 12 Workers Who Took Part in Anti-Trump Immigrant Protest

by Alberto Luperon | 12:57 pm, February 19th, 2017

Restaurant Fired 12 Workers Who Took Part in Anti-Trump Immigrant Protest

An Oklahoma restaurant is, uh, hiring after a dozen workers were fired for no-showing work. But their absence had nothing to do with their former employer, “I Don’t Care Bar and Grill” in Catoosa. The 12 were taking part in Thursday’s anti-Trump “A Day Without Immigrants” nationwide protest.

“They feel like they’ve been unfairly terminated,” an unidentified friend told KTUL in a Friday report. The source explained that they no-showed work to stand in solidarity with immigrants.

This got them fired via text. Here’s how one string of messages went:

Employer: “You can your family are fired”
Employee: “ok tank [sic] you”
Employer: “And thank you”
Employer: “I hope you enjoyed your days off and you can enjoy many more. Love you.”

Restaurant owner Bill McNally confirmed the firings in a statement to the outlet. He said there’s a “zero tolerance policy for no show/no call incidents and the 12 employees violated that policy.” McNally said he’d fired employers for no-showing work before.

The former kitchen staff don’t agree with the decision, though they claim not to be mad at him.

“They feel like he could’ve done something for them since they’d been working for him [for 2 years],” the friend said.

The dozen didn’t want the outlet to publish their names and faces, so it’s actually not specified if they’re noncitizens, documented or otherwise. The only article mentioned that they’re all Hispanic, and a friend translated on their behalf.

As things stand, the workers have little legal leverage since Oklahoma is an at-will employment state. Employment law and personal injury attorney Rosemarie Arnold laid out the dynamics at play here.

“You are right about it being an at-will employment state and therefore anyone who was fired as a result of taking off on that day will have no recourse unless they were fired specifically because they are Hispanic, which is a protected class,” she told Law Newz. “That would be very difficult to prove. You can’t just take off from work to protest if your employer tells you you have to be at work. It’s the same thing as taking off because you want to go to the beach or because you want to go to a parade or take part in any other for cause or non-cause event.”

Tenafly DPW employee settles over discrimination lawsuit

Deena Yellin, Staff Writer, @deenayellin Published 3:16 p.m. ET Feb. 16, 2017 | Updated 9:04 p.m. ET Feb. 16, 2017

http://www.northjersey.com/story/news/bergen/tenafly/2017/02/16/tenafly-dpw-employee-settles-over-discrimination-lawsuit/97941938/

Tenafly has agreed to pay $400,000 to a Department of Public Works employee who claimed in a 2014 lawsuit that he was subjected to an abusive work environment.

DPW driver Aaron Perelli will be on leave until he retires in June, said his attorney, Rosemarie Arnold of Fort Lee.

Arnold said she had been looking forward to trying the case and “exposing all the disgracefulness that happened to my client.” However, things changed after a discussion with Tenafly officials.

“The monetary settlement was very fair,” Arnold said in a telephone interview. “There was a valid reason not to go to trial.”

In his 2014 lawsuit against the borough, the DPW and several Tenafly employees, Perelli of Fort Lee asserted that he was discriminated against because of his disability and that a hostile workplace atmosphere led him to have panic attacks.

Tenafly Councilman Mark Zinna said the incident stems from a situation in which “we had two people who did not get along. Words were exchanged. One of the parties decided to hire a lawyer and the other party is protected by his union contract. We made a business decision to settle this case. We wanted to reach an amicable solution with the lowest risk possible. Unfortunately, the taxpayers have to foot the bill.”

Perelli was hired by the DPW in 2002, and at that time he informed the borough that he suffered from agoraphobia, a psychological disability which prevented him from driving to unfamiliar towns and driving long distances by himself. Doing so, he said, would bring on anxiety and panic attacks.

However, despite an agreement that his driving duties would be limited to Tenafly and the surrounding area, his supervisors targeted him for having a disability, forcing him to perform out-of-town assignments and threatening him with job loss unless he did so, the lawsuit stated.

The suit claims that DPW foreman Ken Kraus harassed him with obscene language for having a disability. Kraus engaged in a “severe and pervasive pattern of mentally abusive, hostile and offensive behavior” directed at Perelli “for having a physical disability,” said the suit, adding that such behavior constitutes disability discrimination.

Kraus frequently threatened him and used abusive and biased language toward Perelli and his wife, who is half Jamaican, according to the suit.

Kraus is still employed by the DPW. He did not immediately return calls seeking comment.

The lawsuit also claims Perelli continued to be assigned strenuous work following a serious back injury after he was thrown off a garbage truck driven by a drunken co-worker.

As a result of such experiences, Perelli will “continue to sustain severe pain, suffering and permanent injuries including physical health issues, several emotional distress, alarm, humiliation and anxiety,” and he will have to spend significant amounts of money for treatment, said the suit.

Zinna stated that Kraus has not had trouble getting along with anyone else and the DPW works efficiently. “They shovel the snow. They pick up the leaves.They clean out the storm drains. They do everything they are supposed to do and they all get along,” he said. “I don’t know of any other incidents where this sort of thing has happened.”

“Time Warner Accused of Exaggerating for Merger”

Time Warner Accused of Exaggerating for Merger
by Chris Fry
Courthouse News Service
Friday, December 11, 2015 9:31 AM PT

Read the full article at: http://www.courthousenews.com/2015/12/11/time-warner-accused-of-exaggerating-for-merger.htm

HACKENSACK, N.J. (CN) – Aiming to boost its stock for an upcoming merger, Time Warner Cable fired workers who resisted inflating subscriber numbers, five ex-employees claim in court.

The lawsuit filed in Bergen County Superior Court comes seven months after Charter Communications announced a plan to buy Time Warner Cable in a cash-and-stock deal that would make it the second-largest Internet and cable company in America.

Time Warner Cable shareholders approved the company’s $56 billion takeover by Charter Communications on Sept. 21.

Meanwhile the five recently fired Time Warner employees now suing the company estimate that the Time Warner and Charter Communications merger is “worth approximately $79 billion.” Their complaint is the Top Download for Courthouse News on Friday.

All former direct sales supervisors or managers of field sales at Time Warner, the five fired workers say that Time Warner sales reps were on the front lines of the fraud, but that encouragement for the practice came from higher-ranking executives.

The plaintiff workers claim to have a January 2015 email from Chris Van Name, the executive vice president of sales channels, that “specifically instructed sales representatives of TWC to ‘pull out all the stops’ and ‘get sales at any cost’ to ‘increase’ the volume of sales.”

Suing in Bergen County Superior Court, the employees say sales reps facilitated the fraud by creating “multiple TWC service accounts at the same location … under identities of various people living at the same location.”

They also created accounts “under incorrect or false social security numbers” and “under identities of people who were no longer living at said location,” the Dec. 1 complaint states.

Other times, employees created accounts under the names of people “whose accounts had previously been frozen or terminated due to ‘non-payment,’ but who still maintained [TWC’s] cable service equipment,” according to the complaint.

The plaintiffs say senior human resources generalist Marielys Mejia sent an email in November 2014, telling employees that Time Warner Cable would not suspend anyone accused of creating fraudulent accounts.

Behind the drive to create fraudulent subscribers, Time Warner hoped “to falsely inflate stock prices for the benefit of a potential merger with Charter Communications,” according to the complaint.

The plaintiff workers claim that they flagged the fraudulent “non-pay” accounts on several occasions, but that their supervisors “failed to properly investigate, address or report” the illegal activity.

One of the plaintiffs, Gregory Klein of Staten Island, N.Y., says sales director Lynden Armogan went so far as to mock him at a company dinner in March 2015.

“You should stop being so damn conservative all the time,” Armogan said, according to the complaint, allegedly telling Klein that “there is no need to do everything by the book” in front of co-workers.

Frederick Fischer, a plaintiff hailing from Somerset, N.J., contends that he attended a mandatory meeting in May 2015 where Armogan and Senior Vice President Blaine Altaffer “instructed the employees present to increase subscriber numbers so stock prices would rise within the next 120 days.”

With the plaintiffs vocally objecting to the “illegal, fraudulent activity,” they say Altaffer even threatened Fischer “by hostilely stating to him this is ‘a career making time for you, don’t blow it.'”

Another plaintiff, Nicholas Warren of Fort Lee, N.J., says he inquired in March 2105 about Time Warner installing a computer system that would prevent the creation of fraudulent customer accounts. He says Armogan “threatened” him by saying, “Get out of here, you should not be concerned with this.”

That May, Warren allegedly informed Armogan again that the company should have a computer system in place to verify customer identities and prevent the fake accounts. He says Armogan “angrily” told him such a move would compromise sales.

“Get out of here and never bring this up again,” Armogan said, according to the complaint.

Aside from the accusations related to inflated accounts, plaintiff Raymond Bailey, of Hackensack, N.J., also alleges a count of sexual harassment.

Bailey says he attended a Time Warner dinner at which Armogan began “rubbing his buttocks up against [his] leg at the event in front of his co-workers and wife.”

Armogan “continuously and systematically made romantic and sexual passes” at Bailey following the incident, the complaint states.

Time Warner fired the five workers behind the lawsuit on Sept. 10, according to the complaint.

The plaintiffs, three of whom sued with their wives, seek damages for retaliation under the New Jersey Conscientious Employee Protection Act. They are represented by Rosemarie Arnold of Fort Lee.

Time Warner spokesman Keith Cocozza did not return an inquiry regarding the lawsuit.

Each of the supervisors mentioned in the article is a defendant to the action, which takes aim at a total of 12 individuals plus Time Warner and its corporate affiliates.

“Sanofi Whistleblower Alleges Company Attorneys Destroyed Documents”

Sanofi Whistleblower Alleges Company Attorneys Destroyed Documents
by Mark Terry
BioSpace.com
November 23, 2015 7:00:01 AM

Read the full article at: http://www.biospace.com/News/sanofi-whistleblower-alleges-company-attorneys/400601

As a whistleblower lawsuit against Paris-based Sanofi (SNY) steams ahead, ex-paralegal Diane Ponte alleges that Sanofi lawyers destroyed documents rather than provide them in other legal cases.

Ponte has accused Sanofi, among other things, of shifting $34 million in kickbacks and “incentive payments” to doctors and pharmacies to influence them to prescribe its diabetes drugs. Ponte claims she uncovered the kickbacks in March 2013 while reviewing nine contracts while she was working at the company’s New Jersey headquarters. The nine contracts totaled $34 million.

Seven of the nine contracts were with Accenture, two were with Deloitte. She alleges that these were direct incentives from Sanofi to physicians, hospitals and pharmacies to illegally influence them to prescribe Sanofi’s diabetes drug over other companies’ products. In addition, she alleges that Chris Viehbacher’s firing in October 2014 was in part due to the allegations.

Ponte’s lawsuits also states that when she resisted signing off on the agreement, she was subjected to a “severe and pervasive pattern of workplace retaliation.” She was fired on October 29, 2014. In her complaint, Ponte says her supervisors referred to her as a “ditz,” “dingbat,” “lunatic” and “scatterbrain.”

Ponte’s attorney, Rosemarie Arnold, in October 2014, told Bloomberg Businessweek, “The acts surrounding her termination from the company were blatantly related to her whistle-blowing activity. She was a model employee before that.”

Now Ponte has filed an affidavit in Newark, New Jersey court, stating, “In the course of my working in the Sanofi litigation department, I became personally aware of many instances in which documents were deliberately destroyed by Sanofi attorneys to avoid turning over said documents in discovery.”

Although Sanofi has indicated that it does not comment on pending litigation, the company last year referred to Ponte as a “disgruntled former employee who is opportunistically attacking our company,” and further said her accusations of employment law violations were “without merit.”

The company is being a little more harsh in their wording over this most recent allegation, with Sanofi attorney John Bennet saying her claims were “false, scandalous and unsupported by any evidence.”

However, despite attempts by Sanofi’s attorneys to remove that particular paragraph from the affidavit, Essex County Judge Michelle Hollar-Gregory refused.

Further allegations include that Sanofi’s North American general counsel, Robert DeBerardine, and another company attorney, Edward Berg, were not licensed in New Jersey to practice law during at least part of their tenure at Sanofi. This is required by state Supreme Court ruling for in-house counsel.

Sanofi has also requested that Ponte or her attorneys return company documents that they possess. Sanofi’s Bennett argued in court that Ponte had stolen the documents and that they were not subject to attorney-client privilege. One of Ponte’s lawyers, Chris Dubin, retorted, “It’s not true!” referring to the theft. Rosemarie Arnold, Ponte’s lead attorney, did say that many of the papers were not subject to attorney-client privilege because they had been seen by many people not in Sanofi’s legal department. Judge Hollar-Gregory has overruled Sanofi’s requests.

At least some of those documents include an email from one of Sanofi’s in-house lawyers, Berg, written on March 21, 2013. The email, which is in court records, refers to his quick review of Accenture contracts, which actually expresses concern over the contracts, saying it “has almost no meaningful deliverables, is poorly constructed and incorrectly mentions Regulatory Review. … My initial overall take is that the contract violates almost every principal of financial stewardship and good business practices, with few deliverables, an outlandishly short time frame, no consideration as to the clear legal issues in these types of engagements with customers.”

Despite those apparent concerns, Ponte alleges Sanofi insisted on approval.

CNBC.com: “Sanofi whistleblower lawsuit kicks into higher gear”

Sanofi whistleblower lawsuit kicks into higher gear
by Dan Mangan
CNBC.com
Friday, 20 Nov 2015 | 2:38 PM ET

Read the full article at: http://www.cnbc.com/2015/11/20/sanofi-whistleblower-lawsuit-kicks-into-higher-gear.html

A whistleblowing former paralegal at drug giant Sanofi is now claiming she was aware of “many instances” where Sanofi lawyers destroyed documents to avoid turning them over to opponents in prior legal cases.

Ex-Sanofi paralegal Diane Ponte’s new allegation comes in an affidavit she filed in her pending lawsuit against the company.

Ponte’s suit, filed last year, claims she learned of an alleged scheme at Sanofi to pay more than $30 million in kickbacks to promote the company’s diabetes drugs. The suit came a year after the France-based drug company already agreed to pay more than $100 million to the U.S. federal government to settle other claims related to alleged kickbacks to doctors, and seven months after Sanofi agreed to pay a nearly $40 million fine in Germany in connection with two employees who were convicted there of paying bribes to boost drug sales.

“Prior to my last position with Sanofi, I had been working in the Sanofi litigation department for approximately seven years,” Ponte wrote in her affidavit in Newark, New Jersey, court. “In the course of my working in the Sanofi litigation department, I became personally aware of many instances in which documents were deliberately destroyed by Sanofi attorneys to avoid turning over said documents in discovery.”

The term “discovery” refers to the process in which opponents in civil litigation exchange documents and other evidence that are relevant to issues in their case, and which could affect the outcome of that case.

Sanofi, when contacted by CNBC about ongoing issues related to Ponte’s case, said, “Sanofi does not comment on pending litigation.” Last year, when Ponte’s case was filed, it referred to her as a “disgruntled former employee who is opportunistically attacking our company,” and called her allegations of employment law violations “without merit.”
However, Sanofi attorney John Bennett recently argued in legal motions that Ponte’s claim of document destruction was “false, scandalous and unsupported by any evidence.”

Bennett also said that Ponte, while working at Sanofi, had never reported any such document destruction to the company’s internal complaints system despite that she would have had an obligation to do so under Sanofi’s Code of Business Conduct.

But Essex County Judge Michelle Hollar-Gregory refused during a hearing last week to strike the paragraph in Ponte’s affidavit that alleges the document destruction by Sanofi’s lawyers.

Court filings reveal other new details in the case.

Ponte’s affidavit says that Sanofi’s North American general counsel, Robert DeBerardine, and another lawyer at the company, Edward Berg, were not licensed to practice law in New Jersey for at least part of the time they were working as lawyers at Sanofi. That’s despite Sanofi’s North American headquarters, where Ponte had worked, being located in that state, and despite a state Supreme Court rule requiring in-house counsel at a company to obtain at least a limited license if they want to practice law in the state.

Sanofi claims in court papers that the two attorneys’ law license status isn’t relevant to Ponte’s case, particularly since they were licensed to practice elsewhere in the United States. Sanofi also claims that DeBerardine applied for limited in-house counsel status in April 2013 and had it granted just last month. Berg’s own June 2015 application for that status “is currently pending,” the company said.

Ponte’s suit filed last December claims that she was fired in September 2014 in retaliation for bringing the alleged kickback scheme to light, which led to an internal probe at Sanofi. She also claims that Sanofi’s board fired then-CEO Christopher Viehbacher in October 2014 “in part” because Viehbacher “was involved in the aforesaid illegal and/or fraudulent activity.”

The suit from Ponte alleges she was pressured in March 2013 to approve nine pending contracts Sanofi had with Accenture and Deloitte worth a total of $34 million. Her suit says that despite that she was being asked to review the contracts’ legality, she learned they had actually been executed by Sanofi executive Raymond Godleski four months beforehand.

Her suit claims she determined that the contracts involved illegal incentives from the three companies to “induce customers, including physicians, hospitals and/or retail pharmacy programs such as Walgreens and Rite Aid to [among other things] influence the prescribing of drugs and/or improperly ‘switch’ from selling other manufacturers’ drugs … to selling Sanofi drugs, in violation of the aforesaid Federal healthcare laws.”

Such alleged kickbacks or incentives are illegal because they can encourage the prescription of drugs covered by federal Medicare and Medicaid insurance programs, which in turn could mean that those programs end up paying more in reimbursements than they otherwise would have.

In 2012, Sanofi agreed to pay the federal government $109 million to resolve allegations that the company violated the federal False Claims Act by giving physicians free units of the knee injection Hyalgan in order to induce them to buy and prescribe the drug, in violation of the Anti-Kickback Statute.

In March 2013, two ex-Sanofi employees were sentenced by a court in Germany to suspended sentences, and Sanofi was fined 28 million euros ($29.8 million) in connection with a bribery case there. A spokesman for prosecutors told the Reuters news agency that the former employees made illicit payments to a consulting company that was advising a Sanofi client in order to get the client to order more drugs from Sanofi.

“Sanofi was unfairly given preference because of this,” the spokesman told Reuters. A spokesman for Sanofi told that news agency earlier this year that the company had cooperated with the probe and had tightened its compliance system.

Also related to the ongoing case in New Jersey, Judge Hollar-Gregory last week refused, as least for now, to order Ponte or her lawyers to give back to the company documents related to Sanofi that are in their possession.

A CNBC reporter was present when Sanofi’s lawyer Bennett argued in court that many if not all of the documents are subject to attorney-client privilege, and that Ponte had stolen the documents.

“It’s not true!” angrily protested one of Ponte’s lawyers, Chris Stueben, when Bennett referred to Ponte’s alleged “stealing” of company information.

Ponte’s lead lawyer, Rosemarie Arnold, said that many of the documents would not be subject to attorney-client privilege because they were seen by people not connected to Sanofi’s legal department, as well as for other reasons.

“She was bullied by them,” Arnold said of Sanofi, which is accused in Ponte’s suit of creating a hostile work environment after she made her claims of wrongdoing there. “And now they’re trying to bully her some more.”

Among the documents that Ponte had in her possession is an email from one of Sanofi’s in-house lawyers, Berg, written on March 21, 2013, after he was asked to review some contracts that had been flagged by Ponte as having potential legal issues.

Berg’s email, which is in court records, has the subject line “contracts with Accenture.”

Berg, writing that he was giving “a relatively quick review,” said in the email that “the contract has almost no meaningful deliverables, is poorly constructed and incorrectly mentions Regulatory Review, with no mention of Legal review, when in fact the issues are most likely to create legal risk (kickback) rather than regulatory.”

“My initial overall take is that the contract violates almost every principal of financial stewardship and good business practices, with few deliverables, an outlandishly short time frame, no consideration as to the clear legal issues in these types of engagements with customers,” Berg wrote.

Despite Berg’s apparent concern, Ponte alleges the company pushed for approval of the contracts.

Accenture and Deloitte are not named as defendants in Ponte’s lawsuit. Accenture declined CNBC’s request for comment when Ponte’s suit was filed last year. Deloitte said at that time that “we are confident our contracts and services were entirely appropriate.”

CNBC also has spoken to a former Sanofi contractor, who on Tuesday of this week described how then-Sanofi executive Godleski allegedly pressured her to enter incorrect codes for purchase orders so that the companies that were the subject of the questionable contracts, Accenture and Deloitte, could start getting paid.

The ex-contractor, Jean Kazimir, said Godleski, who is named as a defendant in Ponte’s lawsuit, wanted the companies to get paid even though the contracts hadn’t been approved by Sanofi’s legal department, and despite that the purchase orders would have been for goods instead of for the services that were detailed in the contracts.

“I knew something wasn’t right,” Kazimir told CNBC. She said she had told Godleski he would need to put his request in writing, but that he never did so.

Kazimir’s account is also cited in a federal class action lawsuit filed in Manhattan by shareholders against Sanofi. That suit alleges the company and then-CEO Viehbacher misled investors and inflated Sanofi’s stock price by touting sales growth of its diabetes drugs “while omitting disclosure of the illegal practices used to achieve those sales.” Those alleged illegal practices include the same ones at the center of Ponte’s state court lawsuit.

Sanofi “funneled tens, if not hundreds, of millions of dollars in disguised payments to consultants Accenture and Deloitte, which according to whistleblowers served as middlemen in a scheme to induce pharmaceutical retailers and hospitals to favor Sanofi’s diabetes drugs over competing drugs from Novo Nordisk,” the Manhattan federal court suit claims. The whistleblowers are identified in the suit as Ponte and Kazimir.

Godleski’s lawyer declined to comment on Kazimir’s allegations.

Sanofi has asked a federal judge to dismiss the shareholders’ lawsuit, arguing that the plaintiffs have failed to lay out sufficient legal grounds for their action.

Atty: Port Washington Family Files Lawsuit After 6-Year-Old Attacked By Dog In Schoolyard (CBS)

Atty: Port Washington Family Files Lawsuit After 6-Year-Old Attacked By Dog In Schoolyard
Doctors Unable To Reattach Boy’s Ear; Espositos Suing For $30 Million
June 4, 2012 8:11 PM

http://newyork.cbslocal.com/2012/06/04/atty-port-washington-family-suing-after-6-year-old-attacked-by-dog-in-schoolyard/

Andrew Esposito

Andrew Esposito, dog bite victim on whose behalf a $30 million dollar ($30M) lawsuit has been filed, after he was attacked at a school playground by a dog owned by Michael Levine and Deborah Levine of Port Washington, NY (photo credit: Esposito family attorney Rosemarie Arnold)

PORT WASHINGTON, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) – The parents of a 6-year-old Long Island boy who said their son was attacked by a dog on a school playground is suing the dog’s owners for $30 million.

Andrew Esposito was playing in the schoolyard at Sousa Elementary School in Port Washington when a lab mix allegedly got away from its owners as it was being walked through the playground.
The 6-year-old’s father, Ed Esposito, said his son had gone up to pet the dog when he was attacked.

“I turn over and I see my son face down in the dirt,” he told 1010 WINS’ Steve Sandberg. “My wife runs over to him and starts screaming ‘his ear, his ear! Look for his ear!’”

There are signs prohibiting dogs from entering school grounds, according to the Esposito’s attorney, Rosemarie Arnold, who added the dog is known to be “aggressive” and “vicious.”

“There are children on the block that are afraid to walk to the bus stop because this dog growls and shows teeth,” Arnold said.

The Espositos put their son’s earlobe on ice and took it to the hospital, but doctors were not able to reattach it. Arnold called the boy’s injuries “catastrophic.”

“This is an adorable, 6-year-old boy who had his earlobe chewed off,” she said.

“He’s been telling everybody that his ear’s growing back, so he thinks that his ear’s growing back. He doesn’t understand what is going on,” Ed Esposito told CBS 2’s Don Dahler.

The lawsuit claims the dog’s owners, Michael and Deborah Levine, were careless and reckless.

The Levines live in Port Washington, but a person who answered the door Monday told CBS 2’s Dahler the couple had no comment, and neither did the Levines return calls asking for their side of the story.

Meanwhile, Andrew Esposito’s father said the boy’s brothers and friends are trying to lift his spirits.

“They’ve rallied around with other kids in the community to make him feel normal,” Ed Esposito said.

Animal Control officers told the Espositos they could do nothing about the dog after the alleged attack, because this was the first time it was accused of biting someone, CBS 2’s Dahler reported.

http://newyork.cbslocal.com/2012/06/04/atty-port-washington-family-suing-after-6-year-old-attacked-by-dog-in-schoolyard/

LI dog-attack horror (New York Post)

LI dog-attack horror
My son’s ear chewed off: dad

By LAUREL BABCOCK and DAN MANGAN
Last Updated: 3:59 AM, June 5, 2012
Posted: 1:26 AM, June 5, 2012

http://www.nypost.com/p/news/local/li_dog_attack_horror_BqaI6mJvaQROCJCq24glWO

A Manhattan pediatrician whose 80-pound dog, Archie, is notorious for being “vicious and dangerous” took the pooch to a Long Island elementary school playground — despite signs banning dogs — where it promptly attacked a 6-year-old boy and chewed off his earlobe, a scathing lawsuit charged yesterday.

Then, instead of giving bleeding, screaming Andrew Esposito medical assistance, Dr. Deborah Levine said, “Everything’s going to be fine, It’s no big deal,” recalled Andrew’s dad, Edward Esposito.

Levine had brought the hulking black Labrador mix, Archie, on a leash on May 18 to Philip Sousa Elementary School in Port Washington, LI, where Andrew’s brother was playing a baseball game, Esposito said.

Levine, who is a professor of emergency pediatric medicine at NYU School of Medicine, owns the dog with her urologist husband, Dr. Michael Levine.

Suddenly, “I heard a noise, like something you hear in a bear attack — just a horrible noise,” Esposito recalled.

Esposito, 39, turned to see 45-pound Andrew lying face-down and crying in the dirt — with half of his right ear lying nearby.

Deborah Levine, still holding Archie’s leash, said, “He’ll be fine” — but Andrew wasn’t fine, even after being rushed to St. Francis Hospital and undergoing two hours of surgery, his dad recalled.

“They couldn’t reattach the half that was taken off,” Esposito said. He said his son now faces “many” plastic-surgery procedures.

The still-shaken Andrew since has been kept home from kindergarten — and “thinks his ear is growing back,” his dad said.

Esposito yesterday sued his now-ex-friends in Nassau Supreme Court, claiming the Levines’ recklessness led to Andrew’s permanent injuries.

“This child is going to be significantly disfigured for the rest of his life,” said Esposito’s lawyer, Rosemarie Arnold.

Arnold also said Archie “is known around the neighborhood as having vicious propensities.”

Deborah Levine refused to comment from her Port Washington home.

Additional reporting by Kieran Crowley

http://www.nypost.com/p/news/local/li_dog_attack_horror_BqaI6mJvaQROCJCq24glWO