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Mintz Wins Complete Trial Victory for Client Against Celebrity Jill Rappaport

Mintz is pleased to announce that on November 19, a jury sitting in the case of Richard W. Swift v. Jill Rappaport and Mona Rappaport, 003140/2012 (CVSG), returned a sweeping verdict for Mintz client, Plaintiff Richard Swift. 

The jury was empaneled on November 9 in New York State Supreme Court, Suffolk County, in the Riverhead, New York courthouse. The Honorable Justice Carmen Victoria St. George presided over the seven-day trial. The jury received the case for deliberations on Friday morning, November 19, and after deliberating for approximately an hour-and-a-half, the jury found for Plaintiff that both Defendant Jill Rappaport and her mother and co-defendant Mona Rappaport had been unjustly enriched. The jury awarded Mr. Swift the full amount of damages that Plaintiff had sought at trial, i.e., $2.572 million.

Defendant Jill Rappaport is a former correspondent for NBC’s “The Today Show.”

Mr. Swift is represented by Mintz Managing Member Robert Bodian, Member Jason P.W. Halperin, and Associates Todd F. Rosenbaum and Iris B. Greenquist from the firm's New York office, as well as by co-counsel Eileen A. Powers of Riverhead, New York. 

After the verdict, Mr. Bodian said, “Since filing this case in February 2011, Mr. Swift has waited nearly 11 years to have a jury hear his case, and this sweeping trial victory vindicates his pursuit of justice. We are gratified by the verdict.” 

The evidence at trial showed that Ms. Rappaport and Mr. Swift were involved in a romantic relationship from late 2000 to 2010. Ms. Rappaport owns three adjacent lots in Water Mill, New York, including one that she co-owned with her mother, Mona Rappaport. Jill Rappaport had been planning to build a log home on the lot that she co-owned with her mother since 2000. 

The evidence at trial further showed that in mid-2002, Ms. Rappaport proposed a deal to Mr. Swift whereby she would put up the land that she co-owned with her mother, Mr. Swift would pay to construct a house on the land, and they would own together the improved property in an amount proportionate to their pro rata contributions. In reliance on this proposed deal, Mr. Swift paid just under $2.6 million to construct a log home on the property. But in early 2010, once the house was constructed, the evidence showed that Ms. Rappaport reneged on the deal, claiming that the house was a gift. The couple broke up in June 2010, and Jill and Mona Rappaport refused to convey an equity stake in the property to Mr. Swift, prompting this lawsuit.

Defendant Jill Rappaport is represented by Richard A. Blumberg and Danielle B. Gatto of Forchelli Deegan Terrana LLP.  Defendant Mona Rappaport is represented by Jennifer P. Nigro of Twomey Latham, Shea, Kelley, Dubin & Quartararo, LLP.