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Wiggins Childs Announces Judgment in Fifth Avenue Tower Lawsuit
[June 29, 2017]

Wiggins Childs Announces Judgment in Fifth Avenue Tower Lawsuit

Today in the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York, Judge Katherine B. Forrest ruled that victims of Iranian terrorism can now seize the assets of the Islamic non-profit, Alavi Foundation and Assa Corporation, known as the 650 Fifth Avenue Partnership. The assets will be used to satisfy multiple billion dollar judgments granted to the victims of Iran, including the victims of September 11, 2001. The assets include property in several states as well as a high-rise tower on Fifth Ave in New York, with an estimated value over $500 million dollars.

Attorneys Dennis Pantazis and Timothy Fleming led the Havlish trial team of attorneys that represent families in a decade long case involving the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001. Other members of the team were Rich Hailey, Robert Foote, Mary Beth Ramey, Tom Mellon III, Kevin Noll and Jim McCoy. The trial took place at the same time as the US Attorney for the Southern District of New York presented a forfeiture proceeding to a jury. Today, the jury ruled in the government's favor as well.

Pantazis reflected upon the moment by stating, "This case illustrates that in this country, justice will prevail. It may take time but the truth will always be discovered. Tom Mellon, Jr. of Mellon Webster stated this case. He was so moved by these families that he dedicated his remaining years to help them discover the truth. Unfortunately he died in 2013. We, who he inspired, pledged to continue his quest. Today is a big and an important step in that process as we pursue justice for the victims of 9/11."

Fleming adds that, "For the attorneys, it has been a long and arduous journey to justice. But, our path has been nothing compared to the sorrow and pain experienced by our clients, the families of the victims, who endure a lifetime of suffering. We are gratified by this verdict for them, and also for our leader, the late great Tom Mellon, Jr., who worked on this case until the day he died. Today is a day of triumph of law, the measure of accountability, and justice that Tom Mellon, and our clients, have sought for 16 years."

The underlying case for the Havlish families was Havlish v. Bin Laden as part of the In Re Terrorist Attacks on September 11, 2001 litigation, filed in the Southern District of New York. On October 12, 2012, after years of investigation by the Havlish consortium of attorneys, the Court issued an Order of Judgment, finding the Plaintiffs had presented enough evidence that the Islamic Republic of Iran had provided direct material support to al-Qaeda in carrying out the attacks of September 11, 2001. The Court awarded the sum of $6,048,513,805 for economic damages and punitive damages that up until today, was uncollectable.

About Wiggins, Childs, Pantazis, Fisher & Goldfarb, LLC

Dennis Pantazis and Timothy Fleming are lawyers at the firm Wiggins, Childs, Pantazis, Fisher & Goldfarb, LLC headquartered in Birmingham, Alabama with offices in Washington D.C. and Deland, Florida. For a copy of the Court's Order and/or a detailed timeline of the case, please visit

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