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Curry files suit over confidential settlement talks

Knicks center Eddy Curry might not take the basketball court again this season because of an ailing knee and conditioning issues, but he has been at the center of legal activity during the past few months.

His attorneys have filed a lawsuit - alleging breach of contract for revealing to the media confidential information from recent settlement talks - against his former limo driver, David Kuchinsky, and Kuchinsky's lawyers from the New York-based firm of Levine & Blit.

The suit, which was filed Wednesday in Cook County (Ill.) circuit court and obtained by Newsday, technically is not a countersuit to Kuchinsky's original lawsuit against Curry filed in January. The action alleges that Kuchinsky and his lawyers breached a confidentiality agreement from a nonbinding mediation conference (settlement talks) on Feb. 23 in Chicago.

The agreement, which was obtained by Newsday, states that the information discussed and disclosed in mediation "shall be considered confidential and privileged" and "only be disclosed to persons associated with the Parties."

Kuchinsky's lawyer, Matthew Blit, told Newsday yesterday that he has yet to receive the complaint and knew of the allegations contained within it only from media reports. He dismissed it and said, "Eddy Curry has a better chance at winning a championship this season with the Knicks than he does ever pursuing in this frivolous lawsuit."

The Knicks - who are owned by Cablevision, which also owns Newsday - did not have practice yesterday, so Curry was unavailable for comment. Curry's Chicago-based lawyer, Kelly Saindon, declined to comment.

The Curry complaint is a separate suit from Kuchinsky's complaint, which was filed in U.S. District Court in New York on Jan. 12 and alleged Curry of sexual harassment and breach of contract for failure to pay $93,000 in wages and expenses during his time employed as Curry's personal driver.

Curry, who denied Kuchinsky's allegations, has yet to officially respond to the complaint or, more importantly, file a motion to dismiss. Curry's lawyers have until March 23 to respond, and a person with knowledge of the situation said a counter-complaint might be filed, but it is believed that Curry hopes to reach a settlement and avoid a trial.

Curry's complaint against Kuchinsky and his lawyers alleges that after the talks ended (and did not result in a settlement agreement), Kuchinsky's lawyers made contact with reporters from two New York newspapers and revealed confidential information that was discussed in mediation.

Staff writer Jim Baumbach contributed to this story.



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