Company denied permission to open drug-rehab center sues city of Tampa

June 16, 2015
A company prevented from opening a residential drug-rehab center in West Tampa has filed a lawsuit claiming the city violated the Americans with Disabilities Act.
     In the lawsuit filed against the city last week in U.S District Court in Tampa, Lincoln Rock claims that in denying a special use permit for the center in 2013, the City Council ignored the advice of the city’s professional planners and, instead, pandered to the fears raised by neighbors that the center would bring criminals into their community.
     Lincoln Rock spent more than $1 million trying to open the center, the lawsuit states, and is asking the court to award damages and costs.
     The company also wants the court to declare that the city illegally discriminated against it and its clients and violated both the Americans with Disabilities Act and the Fair Housing Act, a federal law that protects people from discrimination on the basis of race, color, national origin, religion, sex and disability when they are renting, buying, or seeking a mortgage.