In Memorium – Donald J. P. Sweeney – 1938-2021Please Click Here
26Dec 2014

The New Jersey Appellate Division affirmed a summary judgment order obtained by Partner, Robyn McGrath, and Senior Associate, Denise Montgomery, in a case where a fifteen year old special education student was shot on the grounds of his school. The trial court granted summary judgment to the defendant school on the grounds of charitable immunity. On appeal, plaintiff argued that the trial court had erred in holding that the conduct of the defendant school and its employees did not constitute gross negligence as a matter of law and that the question should be decided by a jury.

In affirming, the appellate division noted the dearth of authority on this particular point but accepted the defense arguments regarding compliance with applicable standards and the lack of foreseeability of this type of injury to the plaintiff. The court also agreed with defense arguments regarding the applicability of charitable immunity to employees who, plaintiff argued, were exempt from immunity as licensed professionals. The court held that these individuals were employed by the school and did not interact with the plaintiff at the time of the shooting in their professional capacities as a psychologist and licensed social worker.

Donald J. P. Sweeney, Esquire

1938-2021

Sweeney & Sheehan mourns the loss of its founder, Donald J.P. Sweeney, Esquire, on June 8, 2021. He was a proud graduate of St. Athanasius Catholic School, St. Joseph's Preparatory School, Villanova University and Temple Law School. He practiced law for nearly 40 years, and founded Sweeney & Sheehan in 1971. He was active litigator and he specialized in catastrophic product liability cases. Don supported his children's activities, serving as soccer coach at St. Albert the Great Catholic Church and President of the CYO. He was a lector for nearly 48 years and a member of the choir. He was an active supporter of St. Joseph's Prep and was awarded the Alumnus of the Year Award in 1999 and the Rev. Charles Schnorr, SJ '37 Service Award in 2005. He retired from the practice of law in 2004.

Don is survived by his wife of 59 years, Ann, his children, Shannon, Patrick, Daniel, Gerard and Suzanne, and ten grandchildren.

Read More