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Cy Pres Designation Totaling Nearly $142,000 for Legal Aid Service of Broward County

(Geoff Stahl, Jeff Liggio, Anthony Karrat & Steven Jaffe)

Legal Aid Service of Broward County (LAS) is pleased to announce they are recipients of a Cy Pres award totaling $141,803. Jeff Liggio of Liggio Law, presented the check to Executive Director Tony Karrat and Board Chair Steve Jaffe on April 20.

The award results from a case that lasted 12 years and contained litigation on behalf of a class of more than 65,000 Floridians against Heritage Propane (now Amerigas). The team at Liggio Law completed the distribution efforts to the class members, but significant funds remained.

Presiding Judge Pamela Campbell ordered the remaining funds be distributed to numerous legal aid programs statewide, including Legal Aid Service of Broward County.

“The case lasted a long time, but we are happy it was finally resolved through a judgment in favor of the Class. Our terrific legal team of Geoff Stahl and Jeff Liggio of Liggio Law, Phil Burlington, of Burlington and Rockenbach, Scott Johni, and the Whittemore Law Group, was instrumental in the distribution of the cy pres award to Legal Aid,” said Jeff Liggio. “Funds from this award will go to those who desperately need civil legal services.”

In class action lawsuits, a fund is created if there is a payment of damages to class members. After class members’ claims are paid, there often is an amount remaining. Under the doctrine of cy pres, judges and class counsel can recommend that residual funds be distributed to the next best use, which often means directing the remaining monies to help fund legal service programs. Every dollar spent on civil legal aid to low income Floridians, yields more than seven dollars in economic benefits. In 2015 alone, Florida civil legal aid organizations turned $85 Million in funding into more than $600 Million in economic impacts and benefits to clients, families and communities.

Annual sponsors of LAS include: Birnbaum, Lippman & Gregoire, PLLC; Florida Power & Light; JM Family Enterprises, Inc.; Kelley Kronenberg, Attorneys at Law; Kim Vaughan Lerner, LLP; Valley National Bank and Weiss Serota Helfman Cole & Bierman, P.L. 

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