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Firm's Civil Rights Victory and Jury Verdict Upheld, Now Over $1.5M Featured

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We had won a judgment of $433,000 in 2015 in our client’s long-running and ultimately successful case, Scotty Thyng v. City of Quincy et al, Norfolk Superior Court, Civil Action No. 2010-01449. That was after a two-week jury trial for violation of civil rights against five City of Quincy public officials for delaying and blocking our client’s attempts to build a house for more than 10 years. With interest and attorneys’ fees, that judgment came to more than $1.3 million.

Read about the original case here...

The defendant officials then appealed to the Appeals Court. Their principal issue on appeal was whether previous counsel years earlier had served the Complaint within the time required by Rule 4 (j). The Appeals Court in March 2020 rejected that argument and all the defendants’ other arguments. It upheld the judgment and award (except for one claim of violation of substantive due process against one defendant.)

The Appeals Court remanded the case on that sole issue of the damages and attorneys’ fees on account of the vacated claim (to eliminate that from the judgment). The defendants quickly sought reconsideration of the Appeals Court remand, limited to the Rule 4(j) issue (original service of the suit). The Appeals court just as quickly denied reconsideration.

This action leaves our client Mr. Thyng’s Superior Court judgment intact that these four City of Quincy officials violated his equal protection rights with a monetary award plus interest which, as the appeal was pending, has grown to about $1.75 million.

Last modified on Tuesday, 14 April 2020 12:25
Michael J. O'Neill, Esq.

MICHAEL J. O’NEILL, ESQ., is a Senior Associate of McGregor & Legere, P.C. He has more than thirty-five years of experience in a wide range of litigation in all courts and in real estate and commercial law, concentrating in environmental and land use law and litigation since 1992 and real estate and commercial law and litigation from 1983 to 1992.

Mr. O’Neill represents clients in all types and phases of environmental and land use law and litigation, including prosecution and defense of claims for or involving: clean-up, cost recovery, and property damage under the Massachusetts Superfund Law, G.L. c. 21E; deceit, misrepresentation, and unfair and deceptive acts under Massachusetts G.L. c. 93A arising out of the sale of real estate; ownership and use of real estate; nuisance, negligence, and trespass; citizen suits under the Clean Water Act; appeals to court from decisions of local boards and commissions on special permits, subdivisions, zoning enforcement, and permits under the Wetland Protection Act; Article 97 of the Massachusetts Constitution; condominiums; contracts; and injunctive relief. He regularly represents clients before local boards regarding land use permits and appeals to administrative agencies and court from decisions of local boards. He does opinions, lawsuits, and problem-solving concerning real estate titles, transactions involving contaminated land, easements, and leases.

Mr. O’Neill has extensive experience in the preparation, trial, and appeal of cases in all courts. He has successfully represented clients in all Massachusetts courts, including the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court, Appeals Court and all Divisions of the Trial Court. He has tried and argued cases before the United States Courts of Appeal for the First and Fourth Circuits, the United States District Courts for Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, and West Virginia; the United States Bankruptcy Courts for Massachusetts, New York, and Pennsylvania; the Vermont Supreme Court, the Pennsylvania Superior Court (an Appellate Court), and the Pennsylvania Court of Common Pleas. He is also experienced in arbitration and mediation.

Mr. O’Neill has taught workshops in environmental, land use, and real property law for the Citizen Planner Training Collaborative, the Massachusetts Association of Conservation Commissions, Massachusetts Continuing Legal Education, Inc., and National Business Institute, Inc.

Mr. O’Neill has received the Founders Award presented by Alternatives for Community and Environment, Inc. (ACE) and the Community Merit Award presented by Concerned Citizens of Freetown, Inc. for pro-bono work. Mr. O’Neill is rated “BV-Distinguished,” a “Very High” Rating, by Martindale-Hubbell, a legal directory.

Mr. O’Neill is a graduate of the College of the Holy Cross and a cum laude graduate of Suffolk University Law School, where he won the American Jurisprudence Award in Evidence.

Mr. O’Neill’s clients find him responsive, knowledgeable, sympathetic, and a strong advocate. His results before juries and justices have earned him the loyalty of many long term clients.

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