Pennsylvania Record

Monday, January 20, 2020

Man accused of assaulting hockey coach's wife can't prepare defense until discovery requests are fulfilled

State Court

By Nicholas Malfitano | Dec 5, 2019

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PITTSBURGH – A man accused of spitting on and striking the wife of his son’s youth hockey coach has claimed he can’t prepare an adequate defense because they haven’t responded to his request for documents and interrogatories, and a state court judge agreed.

On June 21, defendant Timothy Hanna filed a motion to compel plaintiffs Christie L. Kelly and Doug Kelly to respond to his request for answers to interrogatories for production of documents dated Jan. 4 or his counsel’s correspondence inquiring as to the status of their response dated April 23, with refusal to be subject to sanctions.

“The defendant is prejudiced, as he is unable to evaluate or defend against the defendants’ claims seeking recovery of injuries and damages without the plaintiffs’ answers to the aforementioned discovery requests,” the motion to compel read, in part.

Allegheny County Court of Common Pleas Judge Robert J. Colville agreed, ordering the same day that the plaintiffs would be required to respond to Hanna’s requests within 30 days or face sanctions from defense counsel.

To date, there has been no response from the plaintiffs as to those answers.

The Kellys initially filed a complaint Oct. 23 in the Allegheny County Court of Common Pleas versus Hanna, alleging he failed to keep his hand and arms under control.

According to the complaint, the plaintiffs alleged that Doug Kelly was a coach in a youth hockey team upon which Hanna’s minor son was a player. After the game ended, the suit said the defendant was unhappy with the amount of time his son played.

During the discussion, defendant allegedly struck Christie Kelly’s head and face with his hand. She claimed she has suffered cognitive headaches, impairment of memory, dizziness and peripheral vertigo and the plaintiffs hold Timothy Hanna responsible, because the defendant allegedly failed to refrain from striking plaintiff's head.

The Kellys blamed Hanna for the injuries stating he could have stopped himself from getting physical with Christie Kelly. Hanna was later convicted of aggravated assault, simple assault, harassment and disorderly conduct, and faced house arrest after his original sentence of an 11 ½-month jail term was commuted.

During the criminal proceedings, Christie Kelly gave a very detailed account of what occurred during her interaction with Hanna.

She said Hanna looked in her direction and said something, but she couldn’t hear what. She said he got closer and then said he was going to “kill” her husband and that she would watch. By that point, she testified, he was bending over her and spitting on her.

“He was telling – continuing to tell me he was going to kill my husband and that I was going to watch, he was calling me every name in the book, Kelly said.”

She testified that she told him to back up, and Hanna refused to listen and told her not to tell him what to do. She then put her hand up to her face, as Hanna was reportedly spitting on her.

“He hauled off and punched me in the side of the head,” she testified.

Nationwide Insurance has refused to defend Hanna in the civil lawsuit.

The plaintiffs request a trial by jury and seek compensatory damages, costs, interest and such other just and equitable relief.

The plaintiffs are represented by Robert Woomer of Woomer & Talarico, in Pittsburgh.

The defendant is represented by Robert J. Grimm of Swartz Campbell, also in Pittsburgh.

Allegheny County Court of Common Pleas cases GD-18-013780

From the Pennsylvania Record: Reach Courts Reporter Nicholas Malfitano at nick.malfitano@therecordinc.com

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