Judge Approves Settlement In Wineberg v. Brophy Case

Shepherd, Finkelman, Miller & Shah, LLC and the Law Offices of James C. Mentkowski, S.C., a law firm in Wisconsin, announce that on July 30, 2007, the Circuit Court for Milwaukee County, Wisconsin, the Honorable David A. Hansher presiding, approved a settlement on behalf of residential tenants who rented properties from Timothy J. Brophy between March 30, 2000 to May 15, 2007.

The lawsuit, entitled Wineberg v. Brophy, Case No. 06-CV-003064, was filed in Wisconsin state court on behalf of two proposed classes of persons who, from March 30, 2000 to the present (the “Class Period”):

(a) paid security deposits or made rent payments to Defendant, Timothy J. Brophy, Jr. (“Brophy”), during the Class Period for properties owned by Brophy where there were uncorrected housing and building code violations that Brophy failed to disclose; or

(b) did not receive from Brophy the return of security deposits that they paid him, or a written explanation of the reasons why any such amounts were being withheld, within twenty-one (21) days (collectively “the Class”).

On January 26, 2007, the Court entered an order determining that this lawsuit was appropriate for class action treatment and certifying these two classes of persons. On March 15, 2007, the Court held a hearing and determined that damages should be awarded to Class members.

Under the settlement, Brophy has agreed to make a cash payment in the sum of $300,000 (the “Common Fund”), which will be used for purposes of paying: (a) a cash payment, on a pro rata basis, to all Class members who timely submit claim forms; and (b) attorneys’ fees and costs and an incentive award. In addition, pursuant to the settlement, Brophy is prohibited from: (a) renting any properties that have outstanding building code violations, and (b) failing to comply with applicable law regarding the return of security deposits to tenants. Brophy has consented to the Court’s jurisdiction to enforce the injunction, to enter any necessary contempt findings and to award counsel for any petitioning party reasonable attorneys’ fees and costs in connection with obtaining any relief for a violation of the injunction. Furthermore, Brophy must provide new and existing tenants an agreed-upon notice of the tenants’ rights under the statutes and administrative code sections under which this lawsuit was instituted.

To download a copy of the Long-Form Notice and Claim Form from this website, click on the “Wineberg v. Brophy” Case under Settlements.

The Court has extended the deadline for submission of claim forms.
The new deadline for submission of claim forms is September 14, 2007.