$45M awarded to Tacony dungeon victim, but unlikely to be paid

TACONY (WPVI) -- A Philadelphia woman, a victim of unspeakable torture, has been awarded $45 million, but it's unlikely she'll ever see a dime.

On Wednesday, Tamara Breeden told jurors in the Court of Common Pleas civil trial that her alleged kidnapper Linda Ann Weston beat and starved her and forced her to drink her own urine for more than 10 years.



This as she and three other mentally disabled victims were held captive in a so-called dungeon in the subbasement of a Tacony apartment.

On Thursday, that jury awarded Breeden $45 million in compensatory and punitive damages.

"She got the verdict that she deserved, I mean she had suffered through 10 years of horrible abuse at the hands of Linda Ann Weston and her cohorts," Breeden's attorney Steven Wigrizer told Action News.

Wigrizer says Weston and her alleged cohorts, Gregory Thomas and Eddie Wright, kept the victims in a living hell as they cashed in on their government disability benefits.



Authorities have said that in an effort to not get caught, Weston would move the captives around from Philadelphia to Texas, Florida and Virginia.

Wigrizer says by the time Breeden and the others were rescued in October 2011, she looked like a concentration camp survivor.

She now lives with relatives in Kensington.

"She's really doing great. It's just incredible after what she's been through," Wigrizer said.

Wigrizer says the $45 million award was a default judgment because the defendants failed to respond to the lawsuit.

But just how likely is it the Breeden will see that money?

"It is unlikely that this verdict is going to be paid. We knew that going into it, but we thought it was really important to make a statement," Wigrizer said.

Linda Weston and her cohorts were not in the courtroom when the $45 million verdict against them was announced.



They remain in jail as they await their day in federal court on kidnapping and related charges.

The criminal trial is expected sometime next year.
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