Altshuler Berzon LLP
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October 20, 2010 -- The United States District Judge for the Nothern District of California today dismissed La Raza Unida v. Skinner, Case No. 71-1166, a 40-year old lawsuit concerning the construction of a proposed freeway in Hayward, California. The dismissal of the lawsuit as moot clears the way for implementation of a $6 million class action settlement that will compensate tenants.
The lawsuit known as La Raza Unida v. Skinner was filed more than 40 years ago to challenge a proposed freeway in Hayward, California. Among the plaintiffs' attorneys in the case was Stephen P. Berzon, now a partner at Altshuler Berzon LLP. As a result of the lawsuit, the proposed freeway was halted and, after several decades, the California Department of Transportation ultimately abandoned the project entirely.
The dismissal of La Raza Unida v. Skinner clears the way for the implementation of a related state court class action settlement negotiated by attorneys at Altshuler Berzon LLP and the Public Interest Law Project on behalf of a class of tenants residing in over 200 properties CalTrans had acquired, and subsequently leased, in the route of the proposed freeway. CalTrans now seeks to sell those properties. Under the $6 million settlement, households will receive substantial relocation assistance to help mitigate any moving costs and rent increases that they may have to pay. Additionally, the settlement includes a program to assist tenants in purchasing a home. Finally, the settlement provides for the construction of additional low-income housing in the Hayward area to offset any loss in the low-income housing stock that may result from the sale of the CalTrans-owned properties.