MWDN: SJC hears appeal of Southborough homeowners

Above: This home on Lovers Lane is crumbling around its owners (Photo from Town of Southborough Property Record Card)

The legal battles continue for Kathryn and Christian Culley, owners of a home on Lover’s Lane that they say is crumbling around them. Last week the Culley’s made their case to the state’s highest court.

You might remember the Culleys sued their contractor among others, and were awarded $1.1M in damages by a jury in 2010. But Middlesex Superior Court Judge Thomas Murtagh made the unusual move of overruling the verdict saying the Culleys had failed to provide proof of damages, and instead awarded the couple only $140K.

Last week an attorney for the Culleys went before the Supreme Judicial Court arguing the district judge should recuse himself from the case due to an alleged prior relationship with the defense attorneys. Reports the Metrowest Daily News:

That’s when McLaughlin says he learned the judge had served on the Greater Boston YMCA’s board of directors at a time when the YMCA was being represented in litigation by Johnson & Borenstein, the attorneys representing some of the defendants in the Culley case.

In court documents, McLaughlin said ethics filings and other reports show that Murtagh did not disclose his membership on the board from 2005 to 2007, a violation of the Code of Judicial Conduct that he said is a felony punishable by jail time.

McLaughlin also said the judge served on the executive and financing committee of the YMCA and that Johnson & Borenstein donated money to the organization.

You can read all the details in this article by the MWDN. The SJC is expected to file a decision within 130 days.

Related stories:
MWDN: Southborough couple have a $1 million money pit (5 comments)
Boston Globe: Family imprisoned in a home of horrors (13 comments)

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