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Attorney Fees Awarded in Drug Rehab Center Case

Law Center, McGuireWoods LLP celebrate additional victory in case striking down the city of Dubois’ zoning restriction against a methadone clinic.

This recent ruling comes in a long-standing case that is part a larger effort by the Law Center to fight discrimination against people suffering from addiction. The Law Center served as co-counsel with McGuireWoods LLP in RHJ Medical Center v. City of Dubois, challenging DuBois’ attempt to prevent RHJ from opening a methadone clinic in the city. In 2012 the Court judged in favor of RHJ and ruled that DuBois’ attempt was unconstitutional.

RHJ originally sought $455,000 in attorney fees, but U.S. District Judge Kim R. Gibson of the Western District of Pennsylvania cut the amount initially requested by 40 percent, to about $270,000. McGuireWoods LLP is graciously donating its attorney fees to the Law Center.

Gibson said, “RHJ challenged two pieces of legislation under multiple legal theories, which resulted in this court invalidating one piece of legislation and awarding damages to RHJ. Thus, a 40 percent reduction is appropriate based upon the fact that, overall, the actual success achieved outweighs the lack of success on certain claims.”

Previously we brought a lawsuit on behalf of a Reading, Pa., clinic in 2004 under similar circumstances. That case resulted in the Third Circuit Court of Appeals striking down a Pennsylvania statute that banned methadone treatment facilities from being placed within 500 feet of any school, public playground, public park, residential housing area, child-care facility, church, meetinghouse, or other community facility without specific approval from local government.