Va. Beach dentist wins federal case against the city

Dr. Allan Bergano outside of court on Thursday, Feb. 9, 2017. (WAVY-TV 10 Photo)

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WAVY) — WAVY News 10’s Andy Fox reports that Dr. Allan Bergano won his case against the city Thursday afternoon.

One of Bergano’s attorneys, Joe Waldo, told WAVY News 10 “We are delighted.” He said the judge ruled Thursday that the city of Virginia Beach violated Bergano’s right to equal protection under the law and his right to due process. Judge Henry Morgan said the city violated state relocation statutes and he is going to award damages for relocation and possibly will award attorney fees.

10 On Your Side is working to find out if Bergano will receive the full amount he sought, which was $475,000. The judge has reportedly not decided on the amount yet; that could happen sometime in the next two weeks.

Dr. Allan Bergano took the city to federal court, claiming he received nothing for having to move his dental practice in 2015 to make way for the widening of Witchduck Road.

Proceedings in the case began Tuesday morning in Virginia Beach. The last witnesses for the city took the stand Thursday morning, then closing arguments got underway.

Virginia Beach dentist takes city to federal court

The city argued that Bergano was not a displaced person, and therefore not entitled to relocation costs.

The city said Bergano decided to leave when he didn’t have to do so, and that they ultimately told Bergano he could stay in that location.

Bergano’s defense argued that he was entitled to benefits once he was told to leave in the first place.

Bergano has said he wants to be treated like other dentists who were given hundreds of thousands of dollars in relocation costs. Speaking outside court of Thursday, Bergano said he was confident they are on the right side of the law.

“We were not able to appeal. And also were not even given a satisfactory … or even an explanation as far as why we were being told to not leave. It was never explained to us, it was like on a whim. You can never even challenge it,” he said.

Stay with WAVY for updates on the ruling.