December 8, 2008

Website Criticizes San Francisco Chronicle Story About $5.5 Million Punitive Damages Award

This post on Indybay criticizes the San Francisco Chronicle for inaccuracies in its story on a $5.5 million punitive damages award against an Oakland landlord. As we noted in our post about this case, the Chronicle reported that the plaintiffs' attorney would ask the trial judge to award the punitive damages to a charity instead of the plaintiffs. According to the Indybay post, however, the plaintiffs' attorney says the Chronicle got it all wrong, and she does not intend to donate the entire award to charity - - only the amounts that can't be distributed because some of the plaintiffs can't be located:

"The Chronicle article got it wrong when it suggested that I want housing organizations to get the full $5.5 million jury award, rather than the tenants," said Laura Stevens. "They got it all wrong! It may take up to two years to wrap up this case if Thomas appeals the jury decision, and we are not sure where all of Thomas' ex-tenants currently reside. If there's any of the settlement left over after the tenants get their share, it's customary to pass along the rest to housing organizations.