Court approves settlement in Ohio accessibility case

Contact: Kenneth Mackowiak

For Immediate Release – February 13, 2003 The U. S. District Court in Toledo has entered an order approving a final settlement in litigation brought against the developer and architect of Coral Ridge Apartments in Bedford, Michigan for disability discrimination. 

The Ability Center of Greater Toledo and The Ann Arbor Center for Independent Living sued PTL, Inc., the developer, and DuBose and Associates, architects, in 2001 alleging violations of the Federal Fair Housing Act of 1989 in the design and construction of Coral Ridge Apartments. According to the Complaint, the ground floors of Coral Ridge were inaccessible to persons using wheelchairs – a direct violation of the Act.

Under the settlement agreement, Coral Ridge will retrofit the ground floor units so that the units will comply with the Act. All future construction of housing units at Coral Ridge will also comply with the Act. The defendants also agreed to pay the plaintiffs $26,000 in litigation costs.

The goals of both The Ability Center and The Ann Arbor Center for Independent Living include the elimination of unlawful, discriminatory housing practices that injure persons with disabilities and any other persons seeking to rent, or buy, housing units in Ohio and Michigan. Both Centers offer programs and activities to assure all persons, especially those with disabilities, a fair and open housing market and the enjoyment of the social, educational, professional, business, economic, and political benefits of enhanced associations that result from living in fully integrated communities.

For more information, contact Tim Harrington, the Ability Center’s Executive Director, toll-free at 866-885-5733, or Stephen Dane, who represented the Centers on this case, at Cooper & Walinski, L.P.A., at 419-241-1200.