When the body of a professional basketball player from Middletown was shipped back from Romania, a West Haven lawyer promised the man’s mother he would do everything he could to bring justice for Chauncey D. Hardy.

On Wednesday, six days prior to the year anniversary of Hardy’s death, attorney Rick Altschuler filed a wrongful death suit in U.S. District Court in New Haven. Hardy, a standout at Xavier High School in Middletown and then Sacred Heart University, was 23 when he was beaten up in a bar after a basketball game; he died because doctors at a low-level hospital didn’t immediately treat his injuries, the suit said.

“When the body came back from Romania, I promised his mother that I would bring justice back here in the United States,” Altschuler said, referring to Olamae Hardy, the deceased athlete’s mother and administratrix of his estate.

Altschuler is seeking more than $ 210 million in punitive and compensatory damages against defendants, including the man who caused fatal blows to Chauncey Hardy, the Romanian Basketball Federation and one its representatives, Theo Matthew Evans of Oregon, a Romanian hospital and two unnamed doctors.

Altschuler said he is bringing suit under the several statutes, including the state wrongful death statute and the Connecticut Unfair Trade Practices Act. “The underlying basis in this case was contractual, which led to the wrongful death of Chancey Hardy in Giurgiu, Romania, based on a contractual written contract between the decedent” and the basketball federation, which was signed in the United States.

Another reason why he is seeking justice in the United States is because he has been warned by Romanian lawyers that he’s not going to get justice for an African-American basketball player in that country.

Among the allegations in the suit is that a New York Times article reported that “Romania is no longer a country of laws in light of several developments, including the current impeachment of its president and more specifically related to this case, the Romanian court system and related government has already shown apparent prejudice to the decedent and his estate with regard to his claims or potential claims against Romanian defendants and the lack of justice and failure to properly prosecute the criminal defendant who assaulted Chauncey Hardy,” Altschuler’s suit said.

Altschuler also noted that the Romanian health minister who investigated the matter, Raed Arafat, was later forced to resign because of his criticism of the healthcare management system in his country, including the improper medical treatment of Hardy by the hospital and healthcare workers.

The Giurgiu Hospital was fined $ 11,200 and the two doctors were fined $ 920 each.

The criminal defendant, Ionut Adrian Tanasoaia was found guilty by a Romanian judge because of the assault and death of Hardy, but “despite overwhelming evidence of assault to commit murder,” was only found guilty of of the crime of public outrage, the suit said. Continued…

There are indications the man has been released or is going to be released very soon, Althschuler said.

According to Altschuler, there is a long history in Romania of rivalry gangs, known in Giurgiu as clans. The suit alleges that the Romanian Basketball Federation and defendant Evans should have done more to protect or provide security for Hardy, because it is known that the gangs are “anti-American and/or anti African-American. The rivalry between these gangs is also intimately related to the rivalry between the two opposing teams that played on the night that Chauncey Hardy was murdered and for which Chauncey Hardy was a star, captain and member of one of said teams,” the suit said.

He died on Oct. 9, 2011.

The suit alleges that Hardy was at the hospital for 4½ hours and was assumed to be in an alcoholic coma rather than someone who needed to be immediately treated for severe head trauma, a broken nose, severe contusions over his right eye, a bloody lip, massive hemorrhaging, a broken skull and two neck fractures, which caused the coma. He then had multiple heart attacks and was transferred to a better hospital in Bucharest.

Hardy was dancing with a girl at a bar when he was assaulted with enough force to cause the injuries, Altschuler said. He had been the highest scorer that night, before the early morning post-game assault at a social event celebrating his team’s victory against a rival team.

Attorneys Donald Altschuler and Sandra Moore are co-counsels in the case.