Condo parking case settles for $65,000

June 25, 1998
Officials representing an Alexandria condominium have agreed to a $65,000 out-of-court settlement in response to allegations that they refused to "reasonably accommodate" a couple's request for a handicapped parking space.
      Under terms of the agreement, Alexandria Knolls West officials do not admit any violation or liability but will pay the couple, Albert and Andrea Leahy, $43,000, the Fair Housing Council of Greater Washington $20,000 and Long & Foster Real Estate Inc. $2,000. The state Attorney General's office sued on behalf of the couple and negotiated the settlement.

HIV a disability at all stages, Supreme Court rules

June 25, 1998
HIV-infected people are protected by a federal ban on discrimination against the disabled even if they suffer no symptoms of AIDS, the Supreme Court ruled today. The 5-4 ruling ordered a lower court to reconsider whether a Maine dentist violated the Americans With Disabilities Act when he refused to fill an HIV-infected woman's tooth in his office.
      ``HIV infection satisfies the statutory and regulatory definition of a physical impairment during every stage of the disease,'' Justice Anthony M. Kennedy wrote for the court.

HUD, Justice, get involved in university expansion dispute

June 24, 1998
Two federal agencies -- the departments of Justice and Housing and Urban Development -- have weighed in on the dispute between the University of Missouri-Kansas City and its southern neighbors because of civil rights implications.
      Mike Bates, director of the city's Human Resources Department, said Tuesday that Justice Department officials became involved because of the racial diversity of the neighborhood that UMKC wants to raze. City statistics show the neighborhood is part of an area with a minority population of 44 percent.

ACLU sues Yeshiva over refusal to rent to gay couple

June 24, 1998
The American Civil Liberties Union filed suit Wednesday against Yeshiva University, accusing it of discrimination for barring gay people from living in campus housing with their partners. The suit, filed in New York State Supreme Court, was brought on behalf of Sara Levin and Maggie Jones, medical students at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in the Bronx, which is a division of Yeshiva.
     "New York city and state law simply does not allow this type of discrimination against lesbian and gay couples," American Civil Liberties Union lead attorney Michael Adams told a news conference. "Because Yeshiva University has refused to comply with the law, we have no choice but to take legal action."

Report:  Minority homeownership lagging

June 20, 1998
Cleveland Mayor Michael R. White doesn't need a new national study on the state of America's housing to tell him minority home buying levels aren't as high as they should be. ``We have to do a better job educating people about the benefits,'' White said. ``We have to get the word out.''
     The report, released Saturday at the U.S. Conference of Mayors annual meeting, cites gaps between white and black home purchasing that could supply White and other city officials the grist for a wider dialogue.

Shell settles nationwide ADA suit over gas station access

June 19, 1998
Shell Oil Co. and lawyers for the disabled reached an agreement Thursday in a dispute over access at the company's service stations nationwide. Attorneys said the settlement, affecting more than 3,800 gas stations, is one of the most comprehensive under the Americans With Disabilities Act.
      ``We believe it will assist tens of thousands of individuals with mobility disabilities,'' said Jan Garrett, a lawyer with the Disabilities Rights Education and Defense Fund in Berkeley. ``They should be able to get gas, buy a soda . . . or use a restroom while they're on the road. Those are things people without disabilities take for granted."

Judge OKs Merrill Lynch gender settlement

June 19, 1998
As many as 2,500 women will be told they might be eligible for compensation from Merrill Lynch & Co. now that a federal judge has given preliminary approval to a settlement in a gender discrimination lawsuit.
      Eight female financial consultants sued the nation's largest brokerage firm in February 1997, claiming the company unfairly directed business to their male colleagues. The women won class-action status and represented 2,500 current and former brokers in the lawsuit.
      In a conference call with lawyers from both sides Thursday, U.S. District Judge Ruben Castillo said, ``This (settlement) document easily, easily meets the criteria for preliminary approval, and so I am happy to give it preliminary approval today.''

HUD issues charge in accommodation case

June 19, 1998
HUD has issued a charge of discrimination against a neighborhood association for failing to accommodate a man who needs to park his recreational vehicle in his driveway, contrary to neighborhood rules. Steve Sidney has a medical condition that requires him to wear an ileostomy bag, and the RV allows him and his wife to travel without having to find a sanitary place to change the bag. The Sidneys say that parking the RV a mile away as required by the neighborhood association will cause them undue hardship.

NJ town to scrutinize group home placements

June 17, 1998
Saying they fear for their safety, dozens of residents Tuesday night angrily declared their opposition to several group homes for the mentally disabled that have opened here recently.
      The outpouring of criticism at a meeting of the Clifton City Council came two weeks after a mentally ill man from one of the group homes wandered into a schoolyard and touched a youngster on the head. No one was hurt or charged in the incident, but it alarmed parents and focused attention on new group homes that had opened in residential neighborhoods.

Mom wins disability suit against school

June 17, 1998
A disabled woman whose son was expelled from kindergarten because she missed too many parent-teacher meetings was awarded more than $53,000 by jurors who said her rights were violated. The ruling, made Wednesday, means Reba Alexander will receive $53,500 from the Pinellas County School Board for the district's violations of the Americans with Disabilities Act.


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