The judge who had frozen the assets of Boston’s largest taxi fleet owner, including all 372 of his taxi medallions, eased the burden of that order Thursday, exempting 100 of Edward J. Tutunjian’s licenses.
Suffolk Superior Court Judge Linda E. Giles had earlier attached all the licenses, each worth about $600,000, after finding that Tutunjian and other owners stand a “reasonable likelihood” of losing a pending class-action lawsuit filed on behalf of cabdrivers.
Giles’s revised order came after Tutunjian’s lawyers argued that the lawsuit has been brought on behalf of only certain drivers, those who lease cabs from Tutunjian for 12 or 24 hours, but not those who lease weekly. That, they argued, should reduce the estimate of how much money drivers could expect to win if the class-action lawsuit succeeds.
In a court hearing Tuesday , a lawyer for Tutunjian, Daniel J. Wood of Wrentham, argued that Giles’s original order freezing his client’s assets had put Tutunjian in a financial bind. Wood said Tutunjian fears being held in contempt of court if he uses his corporate proceeds for things like mortgage payments on vineyards he owns in Chile, insurance claims as a result of car crashes, or even routine legal fees.
Giles said those would be considered ordinary business expenses that would fall outside her order attaching Tutunjian’s assets.
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