Lawsuit Filed Against Madison Park Management Company
Baltimore, MD (April 8, 2014)-Murphy, Falcon & Murphy announced today that they have filed a lawsuit in the Circuit Court for Baltimore City against the L.A. based landlord and management company for Madison Park North Apartments ("MPNA"), Madison Park North Apartments, LLP, TriCap Management, Inc. and TriCap Corporation, including the companies' owner, Shelby Kaplan-Sloan ("Kaplan-Sloan"), as well as two Maryland based private security firms, All-County Security Agency, Inc. and Central Maryland Security Services, Inc.
32 adult plaintiffs and 44 child plaintiffs allege Kaplan-Sloan and her companies collected tens of millions of federal tax dollars and other HUD subsidiesintended to benefit MPNA's low-income residents, while at the same time, compelled residents to live in uninhabitable housing units. MPNA housing units are infested with mice, rats, bedbugs, scabies, cockroaches, silverfish, spiders and other vermin, the lawsuit said. Additionally, the lawsuit alleges MPNA residents have been forced to endure units without heat, hot water or air conditioning, compounded by raw sewage spills, inoperable door and window locks, faulty electrical wiring, water infiltration and other maintenance issues that present a hazard to the residents. Despite repeated pleas to correct the property-wide maintenance issues, Kaplan-Sloan neglected to address the problems, the lawsuit stated. Residents contend they are compelled to live in the squalor that has become commonplace at MPNA because their housing assistance is tied to their individual rental units and, unlike traditional "Section 8" assistance, cannot be easily transferred to another property, the lawsuit stated.
In October 2010, after a two-day hearing before the Baltimore City Housing Authority, during which sixteen witnesses testified regarding the horrendous security conditions and persistent crime at MPNA and Kaplan-Sloan herself testified to having personally authored the "security plan" for the premises and personally controlling the hiring of the security companies, the Baltimore City Housing Authority revoked MPNA's multi-dwelling use permit for failing to provide reasonably safe housing to residents. The Hearing Officer, Joseph Kershner, found that "[g]iven the number of search and seizure warrants executed on the premises, the number of arrests involving narcotics activity, and the number of violent crimes that have occurred on the property ... it would be impossible for a reasonable landowner not to know that the premises were being used for drug trafficking." Kershner went on to find that Kaplan-Sloan and her companies' response to the drug trafficking and related violent crime at MPNA has been uncoordinated and inadequate, amounting to no cogent security strategy at all.
Additionally, MPNA residents and their guests filed civil rights claims against two private security firms hired by the landlord to patrol the subsidized housing community, alleging the security firms and their employees conspired with Kaplan-Sloan to violate residents' constitutional rights of freedom of association and freedom from unreasonable and unwarranted stops, detentions, arrests and restraints, while ignoring the criminal activity occurring in plain view on the premises. Since 2010 alone, over one thousand crimes-approximately 527 drug offenses and 532 crimes of violence – have reportedly occurred in or immediately next to MPNA, including forty-two shootings, three (3) murders, and, most recently, one of Baltimore City's most heinous criminal acts where a young woman was abducted, sexually assaulted and tortured for days in one of MPNA's units. "This is why the Madison Park complex is called 'Murder Mall,'" said William H. "Billy" Murphy, Jr., founding partner of Murphy, Falcon & Murphy.
"For years, Madison Park residents have been subjected to deplorable living conditions while having to contend with some of the worst violence and narcotics trafficking in Baltimore City history right outside their doors. Rather than being responsible, the landlord for years neglected these horrible problems and instead collected millions in tax payer money while sitting in her seven-bedroom home in the hills above Santa Monica, CA," said Murphy.
If you currently reside at Madison Park North Apartments and would like to learn more about this lawsuit, please contact us.