Back in May I posted about Peter de Vries and Timothy Carter, a gay couple formerly from Secaucus, New Jersey, who filed suit against that town claiming that they were harassed in an April 2004 incident by a group of firefighters who were partying at the firehouse adjacent to their residence.
Earlier this week, they won their case:
“The jury on Tuesday awarded Peter de Vries and Timothy Carter $2.84 million in a civil lawsuit that some see as a victory for the gay community and a launch point for a possible criminal investigation. ‘It was a mob attack and then the town government gathered around to protect the perpetrators,’ the couple’s attorney, Neil Mullin, said of the April 25, 2004, incident and its aftermath. The plaintiffs described the event as a 12-minute tirade that took place outside their home, next door to a Secaucus firehouse. They said it started when Carter complained about a raucous 1 a.m. party held in the firehouse parking lot. Mullin said he will refer the case to the state Attorney General’s Office, so it could reopen a bias crime investigation and to the U.S. Attorney’s Office for a possible criminal obstruction case. The Montclair attorney questioned whether Secaucus is a safe place for gay residents. ‘The same leadership that protected these perpetrators is still in power, and I think that’s most unfortunate,’ he said. Secaucus town Administrator David B. Drumeler, on the advice of private attorneys representing the town, declined to comment on the verdict.”