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Civil Rights Litigation Clearinghouse
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Case Name Lowrey v. Beztak DR-MI-0004
Docket / Court 06-13408 ( E.D. Mich. )
State/Territory Michigan
Case Type(s) Disability Rights-Pub. Accom.
Attorney Organization Relman, Dane & Colfax
Case Summary
An individual who uses a wheelchair and his mother filed this Fair Housing suit in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan on July 27, 2006. The plaintiff had moved into a ground floor unit in a development known as the Uptown Apartments, part of a "new urbanism" ... read more >
An individual who uses a wheelchair and his mother filed this Fair Housing suit in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan on July 27, 2006. The plaintiff had moved into a ground floor unit in a development known as the Uptown Apartments, part of a "new urbanism" complex that includes about 300 apartments, a pool, club house, exercise gym, meeting areas and a business office. The developers had also cooperated with Canton Township to build adjacent shopping and entertainment facilities.

When the plaintiff moved in, he discovered multiple accessibility problems inside the unit. Defendants assured him they would be fixed, but they never were. Additionally, at the front door to the apartment, there were concrete steps, making it impossible for him to enter. Instead, he had to use the back door after navigating driveways and parking lots whose slopes made entering his home treacherous.

The conditions at the development trapped the plaintiff in his home. His only outside access was the back parking lot. He was unable to get to the common areas and had virtually no contact with his neighbors.

Finally, after making repeated requests that the necessary modifications be made, the plaintiff filed suit against the owner/contrator, the architect, and the engineer responsible for constructing and operating the inaccessible development. His mother intervened as a plaintiff because the conditions, along with her own disabilities, made it extremely difficult for her to visit her son. The local fair housing center ("the FHC"), which had first taken the plaintiffs' complaint and investigated, also intervened, and on September 7, 2007, the individual plaintiffs filed an amended complaint adding Canton Township as a party.

After months of acrimonious meetings, the parties entered into various settlement agreements. The individual plaintiffs entered a confidential settlement agreement with the non-public-entity defendants for an undisclosed sum of money, plus attorney fees and costs, after significant modifications had been made, including rebuilding the front of the building to eliminate the steps. They then settled with the Township for $75,000.00 and retrofitting of sidewalks and curb ramps

On July 28, 2009, the FHC entered into a settlement with the owner/ contractor, engineering, and architect defendants requiring exterior modifications to the development, including accessible routes and parking, and interior modifications to the covered residential units including, at the request of the tenant, beveling exterior sides of primary entry doors, increasing turning space, retrofitting of bathrooms, and other modifications required by the Fair Housing Act and its implementing regulations. Defendants agreed to pay $45,000.00 in damages to the FHC.

The case was closed on July 29, 2009.

Denise Heberle - 08/30/2012


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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
Disability
Mobility impairment
Discrimination-area
Housing Sales/Rental
Discrimination-basis
Disability (inc. reasonable accommodations)
General
Access to public accommodations - privately owned
Barrier Removal
Bathrooms
Buildings
Housing
Parents (visitation, involvement)
Parking
Recreation / Exercise
Retaliation
Sidewalks
Plaintiff Type
Private Plaintiff
Type of Facility
Government-run
Non-government for profit
Causes of Action State law
Section 504 (Rehabilitation Act), 29 U.S.C. § 701
Fair Housing Act/Fair Housing Amendments Act (FHAA), 42 U.S.C. §§ 3601 et seq.
Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), 42 U.S.C. §§ 12111 et seq.
Defendant(s) Beztak Properties
Plaintiff Description Individual with mobility impairments and his mother and local fair housing center
Indexed Lawyer Organizations Relman, Dane & Colfax
Class action status sought No
Class action status granted No
Prevailing Party Plaintiff
Public Int. Lawyer Yes
Nature of Relief Damages
Injunction / Injunctive-like Settlement
Source of Relief Litigation
Settlement
Form of Settlement Court Approved Settlement or Consent Decree
Order Duration not on record
Case Closing Year n/a
Case Ongoing No
Additional Resources
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Case Studies Insurer Must Pay $100.5 Million in Redlining Case
The New York Times
Written: Oct. 27, 1998
By: Joseph B. Treaster
[ Detail ] [ External Link ]

  Nationwide Settles Virginia Redlining Suit
Property Casualty 360
Written: May. 06, 2000
By: Amanda Levin
[ Detail ] [ External Link ]

Docket(s)
2:06-cv-13408-NGE-MKM (E.D. Mich.) 07/29/2009
DR-MI-0004-9000.pdf | Detail
PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
General Documents
Complaint 07/27/2006
DR-MI-0004-0001.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Amended Complaint 09/20/2006
DR-MI-0004-0002.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Motion for Preliminary Injunction 05/24/2007
DR-MI-0004-0003.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Intervenor Complaint 06/06/2007
DR-MI-0004-0004.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Memorandum of Partial Settltment and Further Sceduling Order 06/26/2007 (E.D. Mich.)
DR-MI-0004-0005.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Memorandum of Partial Settlement and Further Scheduling Order 06/26/2007 (E.D. Mich.)
DR-MI-0004-0011.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
STIPULATED ORDER OF PARTIAL SETTLEMENT AND CONDITIONAL RELEASE 07/26/2007 (E.D. Mich.)
DR-MI-0004-0012.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Amended Complaint 09/07/2007
DR-MI-0004-0013.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Plaintiffs' Motion for Sanctions 06/17/2008
DR-MI-0004-0014.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Order referring motion 06/23/2008 (E.D. Mich.)
DR-MI-0004-0015.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
ORDER DENYING MOTION FOR RESCISSION OF ORDER OF REFERRAL TO MAGISTRATE JUDGE MORGAN 07/02/2008 (E.D. Mich.)
DR-MI-0004-0016.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Motion for Preliminary Injunction 08/01/2008
DR-MI-0004-0006.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Report and Recommendation to Deny Motion for Contempt and Sanctions 12/31/2008 (2009 WL 189967)
DR-MI-0004-0007.pdf | WESTLAW | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Report and Recommendation to Deny Motion for Preliminary Injunction 01/08/2009 (2009 WL 309390)
DR-MI-0004-0008.pdf | WESTLAW | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Order 02/03/2009 (2009 WL 309390) (E.D. Mich.)
DR-MI-0004-0009.pdf | WESTLAW | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Stipulated Order of Dismissal with Prejudice and Without Costs or Attorney Fees as to Claims Against Only Defendant Charter Township of Canton, Michigan 04/27/2009 (E.D. Mich.)
DR-MI-0004-0020.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Amended Complaint 05/04/2009
DR-MI-0004-0010.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
STIPULATED ORDER OF DISMISSAL WITH PREJUDICE AND WITHOUT COSTS OR ATTORNEY FEES 07/20/2009 (E.D. Mich.)
DR-MI-0004-0017.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
STIPULATED ORDER OF FINAL SETTLEMENT AND FULL RELEASE BETWEEN FAIR HOUSING CENTER OF SOUTHEASTERN MICHIGAN AND CERTAIN DEFENDANTS 07/28/2009 (E.D. Mich.)
DR-MI-0004-0018.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
STIPULATED ORDER DISMISSING WITH PREJUDICE ALL CLAIMS OF INTERVENOR-PLAINTIFF 07/29/2009 (E.D. Mich.)
DR-MI-0004-0019.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Judges Edmunds, Nancy Garlock (E.D. Mich.)
DR-MI-0004-0009 | DR-MI-0004-0012 | DR-MI-0004-0015 | DR-MI-0004-0016 | DR-MI-0004-0017 | DR-MI-0004-0019 | DR-MI-0004-0020
Morgan, Virginia M. (E.D. Mich.) [Magistrate]
DR-MI-0004-0005 | DR-MI-0004-0007 | DR-MI-0004-0008 | DR-MI-0004-0011
Monitors/Masters None on record
Plaintiff's Lawyers Dane, Stephen M. (District of Columbia)
DR-MI-0004-0004 | DR-MI-0004-9000
Finnegan, John Mark (Michigan)
DR-MI-0004-0001 | DR-MI-0004-0002 | DR-MI-0004-0003 | DR-MI-0004-0006 | DR-MI-0004-0010 | DR-MI-0004-0013 | DR-MI-0004-0014 | DR-MI-0004-9000
Heberle, Denise M. (Michigan)
DR-MI-0004-0001 | DR-MI-0004-0002 | DR-MI-0004-0003 | DR-MI-0004-0006 | DR-MI-0004-0010 | DR-MI-0004-0013 | DR-MI-0004-0014 | DR-MI-0004-9000
Defendant's Lawyers Amtsbuechler, Laura S. (Michigan)
DR-MI-0004-9000
Bennett, Kevin L. (Michigan)
DR-MI-0004-9000
Cronin, Timothy L. (Michigan)
DR-MI-0004-9000
Gleeson, Kevin J. (Michigan)
DR-MI-0004-9000
Grant, Gregory R. (Michigan)
DR-MI-0004-9000
Greden, Leigh (Michigan)
DR-MI-0004-0018 | DR-MI-0004-9000
Kitay, Theresa L. (California)
DR-MI-0004-9000
Klemptner, Daniel A. (Michigan)
DR-MI-0004-9000
Mantese, Gerard V. (Michigan)
DR-MI-0004-9000
Rendiro, Brett A. (Michigan)
DR-MI-0004-9000
Rosati, Carol A (Michigan)
DR-MI-0004-9000
Rossman, Mark C. (Michigan)
DR-MI-0004-9000
Simmerer, John M. (Michigan)
DR-MI-0004-9000
Thompson, Craig S. (Michigan)
DR-MI-0004-9000
Other Lawyers None on record

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