The Universal Hub was the first to report on Tuesday and the Boston Business Journal later reported on Tuesday that a Market Basket heir, Frances Demoulas Kettenbach, and her husband, Michael Kettenbach, basically acted like spoiled brats and that their now disbarred attorney, Gary Crossen, enabled them to do so. Frances Demoulas Kettenbach is a sister of Arthur T. Demoulas who recently bought out his cousin, Arthur S. Demoulas, for control of the Market Basket empire.
It seems as though the Kettenbachs wanted the entire building at 303 Commonwealth Avenue, Boston for themselves and in doing so they used strong armed tactics to try to either buy out or force the sale of the condominium units that they didn’t control. Among the things that the Kettenbachs did, according to the Massachusetts Appeals Court was to coerce, intimidate, and threaten:
- The Kettenbachs denied access to the building’s elevator to the elderly owners of a fourth floor unit, Jerome and Bernadette Wodinsky, for months which forced the elderly couple to use the stairs. Things got so bad that Jerome Wodinsky’s eighty-six year old brother, who used a walker, died in the unit as an involuntary shut in because he couldn’t get up and down from the unit because the elevator wasn’t in operation.
- The Kettenbachs used the condominium association’s power to assess fraudulently high condominium fees to the Wodinskys while simultaneously forgiving the condominium assessments of a unit owner who sold to the Kettenbachs.
- The Kettenbachs hired a private investigator who went to Bernadette Wodinsky’s place of business in order to threaten the Wodinskys with bankruptcy.
I’m glad that the Wodinskys have won in court, twice, and I hope that they are able to exact monetary revenge on the Kettenbachs. The Wodinskys civil rights were violated by the Kettenbachs. A story like this just shows that money can buy you a lot of things but it can’t buy you class.
It should be noted that the Wodinskys’ attorney is Donald N. Sweeney of Sweeney Law Chambers which is located in Stoneham. Attorneys like Donald Sweeney are a credit to the law profession.
Wouldn’t it have been easier for the Kettenbachs to have just found another place to buy?