FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE March 29th 2022
SALEM LAWYERS SETTLE CONSUMER CLASS ACTION LAWSUIT
Attorney Kevin McCullough of Salem represented plaintiffs on behalf of elderly residents against an assisted living residence alleging violations of G.L.c. 186, §15B (the “Security Deposit Statute”) and G.L.c. 93A. The defendant allegedly collected an unlawful “community fee” and security deposits which were allegedly illicitly mishandled.
This class action settlement agreement resulted in a claim benefit fund, not to exceed $9.4 million. Separately, the attorneys’ fees were awarded to plaintiffs’ counsel in the amount of $2.1 million (Mass. Lawyers Weekly Staff).
Attorney McCullough comments on the settlement saying, “When a consumer is in a position of weakness, they have no ability to negotiate with large corporations. It is not a level playing field. We fight for consumers and level the playing field. As a result of the settlement of the Gowen case, thousands of Massachusetts elderly residents (as well as their family members) at assisted living residences will be reimbursed for fees and costs that were paid to the defendant. This case has also changed the business practices of the defendant moving forward, which will further benefit future elderly residents.”
Action: Landlord and tenant/consumer protection
Injuries alleged: Money damages including unpaid interest
Case name: Gowen, et al. v. Benchmark Senior Living, LLC
Court/case no.: Suffolk Superior Court (BLS)/No. 1684CV03972-BLS2
Jury and/or judge: N/A (mediated)
Name of mediator: Hon. Margaret Hinkle (ret.)
Amount: $9.4 million (available claim benefit fund) (additional $2.1 million in attorneys’ fees)
Date: June 1, 2021
Attorney: Kevin J. McCullough of Salem (for the plaintiffs)
Source: Staff, Mass. Lawyers Weekly. “Tenants Bring Class Action vs. Assisted Living Residence.” Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly, February 17, 2022. https://masslawyersweekly.com/2022/02/17/tenants-bring-class-action-vs-assisted-living-residence/.