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Landmark Civil Rights Victory for Alzheimer's victims

  [ 275 votes ]   [ Discuss This Article ] • August 12, 2004

Largest verdict awarded in government conspiracy case with the right to establish residential care facilities upheld. Los Angeles, CA (PRWEB) August 12, 2004 --

After battling government bureaucracy for twelve long years and losing everything she had, justice prevailed when Shirley McClure, who had been a successful business woman before she was bankrupted by the City of Long Beach,won a landmark civil rights victory for Alzheimer’s victims. A Federal jury in Los Angeles awarded Shirley and her son Jason, $22.5 million on grounds of government violations of civil rights.

The case, filed in 1992, claimed that the City of Long Beach prevented the McClures from opening residential care facilities for people suffering from Alzheimer’s disease, using its local codes as a pretext and employing special standards against the McClures. By the time the case came to trial, McClure had lost her health, been criminally prosecuted twice by Long Beach and was forced into bankruptcy.

The trial lasted over seven months, from September 2, 2003 to March 23, 2004, and the jury deliberated for an additional 18 weeks before reaching a verdict on August 4 – the largest ever Federal Fair Housing Act verdict. Attorneys Barry Litt, Genie Harrison, and Robert Kitson, of Litt, Estuar, Harrison, Miller & Kitson, LLP, of Los Angeles, CA, presented the jury with dozens of witnesses and thousands of documents.

“The city was ill-served from the beginning of this case,” according to Litt, “since it could have been settled for a fraction of what happened here. I’ve been practicing civil rights law for many years, and this is the most extreme case I’ve ever seen of government conspiring against any one individual. I hope this victory sends a message to government everywhere that they cannot single people out for trying to care for those with Alzheimer’s or other disabilities.”

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