Carlo DeMaria, Jr. vs. Everett Leader Herald, Sergio Cornelio, Joshua Resnek, Matthew Philbin and Andrew Philbin, Sr.
Things just aren’t going Everett Leader Herald owner Matthew Philbin and corrupt publisher Joshua Resnek’s way in their ongoing legal battle with Mayor Carlo DeMaria and City Solicitor Colleen Mejia and others. According to records filed on January 26, 2023, in Middlesex Superior Court, Utica National Insurance Company of Texas has filed a motion requesting the Court to enter an order that Utica “owes no duty to defend or indemnify Dorchester Publications LLC” – doing business as the Everett Leader LLC, Joshua Resnek, Matthew Philbin and Andrew Philbin, Sr. in connection with the claims filed against them by the mayor, city solicitor, assistant city solicitor and chief financial officer.
The Utica National Insurance Company complaint cited a lawsuit filed by the city’s Chief Financial Officer, Eric Demas; Asst. City Solicitor Keith Slattery, Esq.; and City Solicitor Colleen Mejia, Esq., which was filed in September of 2022. Utica, according to the complaint, issued a $1 million business owner’s policy effective from January 12, 2021, through Jan. 2022, which provides coverage for Philbin’s liability, and damages arising out of “personal and advertising injury.” The policy, according to the complaint, excludes coverage for such injury caused by or at the direction for the insured with knowledge that the act would violate the rights of another and would inflict personal injury; or in this case, “oral or written publication, in any manner, or material that slanders or libels a person or organization.”
Utica contends that “the coverage is not afforded under the Policy because of the Everett Leader Defendants’ conduct allegedly committed intentionally, purposefully, fraudulently, maliciously and/or knowingly so as to harm another person under the terms of the Policy.” In other words – the insurance company wants out given the damning testimony by their policy holders. Utica’s motion also cites the mayor’s amended complaint, one count of Conspiracy to Defame by the Philbins and Resnek, one count for Defamation against the three and one count of Defamation against City Clerk Sergio Cornelio. With respect to the Demas, Mejia and Slattery lawsuit, the three cite claims of Defamation; Mejia claims Intentional Interference with an Advantageous or Business Relationship against the Philbins and Resnek.
As the ongoing depositions continue, most recently with Matthew Philbin on January 18, Philbin admitted under oath to having no proof – whether notes, documentation, texts or emails – that the mayor had engaged in any criminal activity, but he, along with Resnek, published for years, from 2017 to 2021, to not only ruin DeMaria’s reelection chances but to destroy his personal and professional reputation. Utica’s complaint continues with their intention to retract legal representation by citing that Philbin and Resnek “allegedly acted knowingly, intentionally, with a particular purpose to harm Mayor DeMaria, while committing fraud, and/or without basic fact.”
With respect to the Mejia and others’ complaint, the Plaintiffs contend that once the mayor was reelected the Everett Leader Herald defendants increased their inflammatory attacks on Mejia, Slattery and Demas “in both frequency, falsity, and outrageousness with the intent to harm the Plaintiffs’ respective reputations and, moreover, disable the administration.” The complaint points to Philbin and Resnek’s false and defamatory statements made with “actual malice,” knowing they were published in print and posted on the newspaper’s website “either knowing the statements were false or in reckless disregard as to whether they were true or false.” The complaint also calls out Resnek’s demonstration of “intentional, cavalier, and reckless disregard for the truth in publishing false and defamatory statements,” which Resnek described as “BS” in his sworn testimony in 2022.
Philbin testified that in the case of the real estate deal between Cornelio and the mayor he never, as the owner of the newspaper, followed up on any of the allegations written by Resnek, despite reading the drafts prior to publication stating the mayor was extorting money from Cornelio or was in conflict of interest. Resnek would admit in sworn testimony that he never had any notes or sought any legal documentation from the city clerk on the land deal, including his admission to fabricating and doctoring notes.
It’s obvious to this writer that if the Court allows Utica National Insurance Co. to pull the plug on the $1 million coverage, the Philbins will have to cover the lawsuit out of their own pockets.
It is unclear when the case will actually reach court.