Bay Area Family Law

Saturday, March 31, 2007

Adrian J. Moody P.C. Secures Victory for Philadelphia MOVE Victims

The Law Offices of Adrian J. Moody P.C. held a solid victory on April 11, 2005 for 24 west Philadelphia homeowners whose homes were destroyed by fire following the bombing of the anti-government group, MOVE’s headquarters, in 1985.

A federal jury awarded $12.8 million in damages in the civil suit, Cheney et al versus the City of Philadelphia, to residents after finding that the City of Philadelphia and the Mayor John Street, and other City Officials violated residents’ Civil Rights when in July 2000, Mayor Street stopped repairs on the rebuilt homes telling the residents that there homes were imminently dangerous and that they would be taken by the City of Philadelphia and damaged if the residents did not take a buyout.

In May 1985 former Philadelphia Police Commissioner Gregore Sambor ordered a package of explosives dropped on the rooftop of the MOVE headquarters in a west Philadelphia neighborhood. Officials were trying to remove the rooftop bunker the MOVE members had constructed. The ensuing fire spread across the neighborhood destroying 61 homes. Many of the homeowners who lived in the neighborhood for several decades watched their homes burn to the ground as fire officials refused to immediately extinguish the blaze.

The 24 plaintiffs are among 61 African American homeowners whose row houses on the 6200 block of Osage Avenue were leveled by the bombing, fire and gun battle that killed 11 people including a police officer on May 13, 1985. The conflict is considered one of Philadelphia’s most notorious and fatal conflicts with police.

The City had new homes built in 1987 but because of the shoddy new construction work it practically made the homes rundown. The City then decided to compensate the homeowners by offering each of them $150,000 for their houses and moving expenses. Moody’s 24 clients declined the offer because they believed their homes and quality of life worth more than the City’s offer.

The homeowners will receive more than $500,000 each from the $12.8 million award. The five women and two men jury awarded damages for the following: $3,360,000.00 million in Compensatory Damages; $6,000,000.00 for Breach of Contract and Emotional Distress; $1,550,000.00 in punitive damages; and $1,920,000.00 for Unlawful Taking. The homeowners also will get to keep their current property.

The multi-million dollar judgment is a historic win for the Firm. It is the largest verdict received to date for a client. In addition to Mr. Moody, the homeowners were represented by senior attorneys Stacy L. Shields and Robert T. Vance.

The Law Offices of Adrian J. Moody, PC. Is a full service African American owned law Firm serving general and business clients. For more than 20 years, the organization has provided business solutions in Civil Litigation, Personal Injury, Medical Malpractice, Class Action, Civil Rights, Sports and Entertainment, as well as Family Law. The Firm, based in Philadelphia, also represents the business community in various contract and commercial matters.


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