Covenant lawsuit moves toward settlement
The class action lawsuit filed last year by residents of the former Covenant at South Hills against B’nai B’rith International and its affiliates appears to be moving toward resolution.
Attorneys for the parties appeared before Judge David S. Cercone in Federal District Court last week to provide an update of the status of the suit. While no details regarding any proposed agreement have been made public, a final settlement seems imminent.
The lawsuit alleges, among other things, that the plaintiffs collectively paid millions of dollars of entrance fee deposits in order to move into the B’nai B’rith-sponsored senior living facility in Mt. Lebanon, and that they were entitled to recover up to 90 of those deposits upon leaving the facility. The suit further alleges that the plaintiffs relied upon B’nai B’rith to protect their interests in the facility.
The Covenant, which had been plagued by financial problems since its opening in 2002, filed for bankruptcy protection in January 2009, and the facility was sold by order of the court nine months later to Concordia Lutheran Ministries. Under the terms of Concordia’s purchase agreement, it was not required to refund the residents’ deposits.
The residents do not yet know the terms of the settlement agreement, according to Maury Deul, former president of the Residents’ Council, but many look at a recovery of any portion of their funds as found money.
“For many of us, it’s almost like finding a pot of gold at the end of a rainbow, even though there’s only a couple of colors showing,” Deul said.
(Toby Tabachnick can be reached at email@example.com.)