United States District Court, D. Connecticut
RICHARD M. COAN, TRUSTEE, et al., Plaintiffs,
SEAN DUNNE et al., Defendants.
ORDER DENYING MOTION OF SEAN DUNNE TO BE DROPPED AS A
Jeffrey Alker Meyer United States District Judge
Sean Dunne moves to be dropped as a party defendant from this
action. Because I conclude that Dunne has been properly
joined as a defendant and that the interests of justice
warrant a joint trial with him and his co-defendants, I will
deny the motion.
case is a consolidated action involving claims by a
bankruptcy trustee seeking to recover assets relating to the
bankruptcy of Sean Dunne. See In re Dunne, No.
13-50484 (Bankr. D. Conn.). Dunne was a prominent real estate
developer in Ireland with a reported net worth of more than
$900 million in 2007. Doc. #50 at 2. But Dunne soon suffered
devastating financial reversals after the global financial
crisis struck in 2008, and this has set in motion years of
efforts by creditors and bankruptcy trustees in the United
States and Ireland to recover from him.
the government of Ireland created the National Asset
Management Agency (“NAMA”) to acquire troubled
bank assets and other obligations. Ibid. In the
meantime, Dunne and his spouse-defendant Gayle Killilea-moved
to Greenwich, Connecticut in 2010. Ibid.; Doc. #1-1
at 15. In 2012 Dunne consented to a stipulated judgment
against him and in favor of a NAMA-related entity known as
National Asset Loan Management, Ltd. (“NALM”) for
about $235 million stemming from personal guarantees that
Dunne had given to secure debt for his companies.
soon suspected that Dunne was concealing assets, and so NALM
filed an action in 2012 in the Connecticut Superior Court
claiming that Dunne had fraudulently transferred various
assets to others including his spouse Gayle Killilea Dunne.
Id. at 3. This state court lawsuit named the
following defendants: Gayle Killilea, Mountbrook USA LLC,
Molly Blossom LLC, Barclay Beattie & Brown, LLC, Wahl,
LLC, Thomas Heagney, Esq., John Slane, Esq., and the law firm
Heagney Lennon & Slane. The lawsuit alleged fraudulent
transfer of Dunne's interest in a Geneva apartment to
Killilea (Count I), fraudulent transfer of his interest in
two companies-Mountbrook USA and Molly Blossom LLC-to
Killilea (Count II), fraudulent transfer of monies and assets
to Killilea (Count III), violations of the Uniform Fraudulent
Transfer Act, Conn. Gen. Stat. § 52-552A et
seq. (Count IV), unjust enrichment (Count V), and a
claim for an accounting (Count VI).
this state court action was pending, Dunne filed for
bankruptcy in March 2013 in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in the
District of Connecticut, and his creditors soon commenced a
bankruptcy action against him as well in Ireland. Doc. #50 at
3-4. In January 2015, Dunne waived his discharge in the U.S.
bankruptcy action, and the bankruptcy trustee-plaintiff
Richard Coan-moved to intervene in the state court action and
to remove it to this Court. Id. at 4; Doc. #1. The
Court granted the Trustee's motion to intervene and
denied defendants' motion to remand. Doc. #38.
March 2015, the Trustee commenced a separate and somewhat
duplicative adversary proceeding in the Bankruptcy Court
against Killilea and other defendants but not Dunne.
See Coan v. Killilea, Adv. Proc. No. 15-05019 (D.
Conn.). The Trustee alleged 35 causes of action based on
alleged fraudulent transfer of assets or money to Killilea
from 2005 to 2008, including claims that Dunne had
fraudulently transferred certain interests to Killilea. Doc.
#50 at 4-5.
years passed before the case became active again on my
docket. On July 27, 2018, I entered an order for trial to
commence in May 2019. Doc. #46. I also granted the
Trustee's unopposed motion to consolidate the removed
state court action and the adversary proceeding that had been
proceeding on a separate track in the Bankruptcy Court. Doc.
October 2018, three of the defendants-Killilea, Mountbrook
USA, LLC and Wahl, LLC-moved to dismiss the accounting claim.
Doc. #55. Dunne did not join in this motion.After considering
the parties' briefing and hearing oral argument, I denied
this motion without prejudice to renewal at trial. Doc. #82;
Doc. #99 at 13.
argues that the Court should exercise its authority under
Rule 21 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure to dismiss
him from this action. Rule 21 provides in full:
Misjoinder of parties is not a ground for dismissing an
action. On motion or on its own, the court may at any time,
on just terms, add or drop a party. The court may ...