Scarpa, Richard et al v. Aagna Hospitality, LLC d/b/a Groton Inn and Suites et al

On March 07, 2024, the Connecticut jury returned the verdict in favor of the Defendants Aagna Hospitality, LLC d/b/a Groton Inn and Suites and Stuart F. McDonald, an employee of Groton Inn in the present tort case concerning invasion of privacy.

Case Background

On January 22, 2018, Plaintiffs Richard Scarpa and Barbara Scarpa brought the present action for invasion of privacy before the Connecticut State Superior Court, Milford Division. Hon Jason Welch presided over this case. [Case number: AAN-CV18-6026112-S]


Aagna Hospitality, LLC., operating as Groton Inn and Suites, was a domestic limited liability company authorized to conduct business in Connecticut, with its principal office located at 135 Gold Star Highway, Groton, Connecticut. Aagna operated a hotel at 99 Gold Star Highway, Groton, Connecticut, where Stuart F. McDonald worked as a maintenance worker. Richard Scarpa and Barbara Scarpa, residing in Ansonia, CT, were guests at the Aagna Hotel, occupying Room 105 on February 20, 2016, and they expected complete privacy in their hotel room.

While the Scarpa plaintiffs were sleeping in their room, Stuart F. McDonald intentionally entered using his maintenance key at around 2:30 p.m., unlawfully intruding upon their privacy. Following this unauthorized entry, Stuart F. McDonald allegedly falsely accused Richard Scarpa of threatening hotel staff with a firearm. Such actions by Stuart F. McDonald would be deemed offensive and objectionable to a reasonable person.

Stuart F. McDonald’s conduct constituted an intrusion upon the Scarpa plaintiffs’ privacy in their hotel room, causing them significant distress.


Due to Stuart F. McDonald’s actions described above, Richard Scarpa and Barbara Scarpa experienced ongoing severe and permanent injuries. These injuries included mental anguish, distress, anxiety, humiliation, anger, embarrassment, sleeplessness, and loss of appetite.


Therefore, the Plaintiffs sought compensation for monetary damages, punitive damages, legal costs, and any other relief deemed fair and appropriate by the Court. The amount in demand was in excess of $15,000.

Key Arguments and Proceedings

Legal Representation

  • Plaintiffs: Richard Scarpa | Barbara Scarpa
  • Counsel for Plaintiffs: Zanella Boath
  • Defendants: Aagna Hospitality, LLC d/b/a Groton Inn | Stuart F. McDonald
  • Counsel for Defendant: Boyle Shaughnessy Law | Donald Lester Williams


The Plaintiffs claimed that Defendant McDonald’s unlawful entry constituted an intrusion upon their seclusion by invading their privacy in the hotel room.


The Defendants denied the allegations of invasion of privacy against them. By way of special defense, the Defendants asserted that Plaintiffs claim of invasion of privacy by false light and the corresponding request for exemplary damages should be barred because Defendant’s alleged statement to the police was protected by the right to petition the Government on matters of public concern and was subject to qualified immunity.

Jury Verdict

On March 07, 2024, the Connecticut jury returned the verdict in favor of the Defendants Groton Inn and Suites and Stuart F. McDonald. The jury found that Plaintiffs had failed to prove that there had been an intentional invasion of their privacy which had caused them damages. Further, the jury held that Plaintiff Richard Scrapa had failed to prove that the information publicized about him was false.

On the same date, Hon Jason Welch entered a judgment on the verdict for Defendant.

Court Documents