Sunday, September 18, 2016

Mobile Home Park Operator Who Allegedly Failed To Enforce Parking Rules Against Residents Who Blocked Sidewalks With Parked Vehicles Agrees To Settle Blind, Wheelchair-Bound Man's Fair Housing Lawsuit

In Hartland Township, Michigan, WHMI Radio 93.5 FM reports:
  • A settlement has been reached in a lawsuit filed by a blind and disabled Hartland Township man. 66-year-old Philip Cusumano filed a federal discrimination lawsuit in U.S District Court in Detroit in August of 2014 against the Hartland Meadows manufactured housing community, claiming he was being denied the ability to use his wheelchair on sidewalks.

    Court records indicate that a settlement between the parties was reached last [month], although details were not released.

    In the complaint, Cusumano alleged Hartland Meadows engaged in handicap discrimination in violation of the Fair Housing Amendments Act. He has been confined to a wheelchair since 2012 and suffers from numerous health issues. Cusumano said he relies on clear sidewalks to get around in his wheelchair, including to his mailbox, but that the already-narrow paths were often blocked by residents parking on the street and sidewalks.

    The complaint, which requested Hartland Meadows enforce its own policies prohibiting parking on sidewalks, asked for damages based on Cusumano’s emotional distress and pain and suffering because of the defendant’s failure and refusals to grant reasonable accommodations.

    Cusumano said all he really wanted was the parking rules enforced and some sort of economic recovery. While he couldn’t disclose details, he said he was in agreement with the terms of the settlement. Lawyers for Hartland Meadows previously denied the allegations and said they acted within the bounds of good faith for legitimate and non-discriminatory reasons.
Source: Hartland Man's Lawsuit Against Mobile Home Community Settled.

See also, Wheelchair User Demands Sidewalk Access.

For the lawsuit, see Cusumano v. Hartland Meadows.

Initiating the process on behalf of the Mr. Cusumano was the Fair Housing Center of Southeast & Mid Michigan, a private non-profit organization that provides fair housing investigations, advocacy, education, conciliation, and attorney referrals to those who believe they have been the victims of illegal housing discrimination. The Fair Housing Center has an eight-county service area: Clinton, Eaton, Ingham, Jackson, Lenawee, Monroe, Livingston and Washtenaw counties.

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