Central Islip, Federal Court. BARBARA ECHEVERRIA and LONG ISLAND HOUSING SERVICES, INC., have sued two apartment complexes for discriminatory and retaliatory practices against Plaintiffs relating to Housing, i.e. the rental of a dwelling, and interference with a contractual relationship, due to disability. Plaintiffs will hold a press conference tomorrow, April 12, 2006 at 11:00 a.m. in the Nassau Supreme Court Pressroom, 100 Supreme Court Drive, Mineola, New York.
In the 21 page, four count, $20,000,000 complaint filed today in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of New York, Barbara Echeveria, who suffers from multiple disabilities including, but not limited to dwarfism, kyphoscoliosis, asthma, arthritis and chronic pain secondary to radiculopathy, along with Long Island Housing Services(“LIHS”), which is a private, not-for-profit fair housing advocacy and enforcement agency servicing Nassau and Suffolk Counties, have sued BABYLON PARK CENTER COMPANY, INC., EDITH SHAPIRO, RANDY ACKERMAN, KRYSTIE MANOR, LP, and ROLAND CONDE. The Complaint claims that Defendants engaged in harmful and illegal activity – all of which constituted unlawful practices, discrimination, denial of reasonable accommodation, violation of civil rights and harassment– for the purpose of forcing Ms. Echeverria to seek an apartment elsewhere instead of Babylon Park Center, a 72 unit senior apartment complex, located at 37-72 Park Center Drive, Deer Park New York 11729 and Krystie Manor which is also a senior citizen complex located at 863-37 County Line Road, Amityville, New York 11701. LIHS has as its primary objectives to promote racial and economic integration, to reduce and eliminate housing discrimination, to promote equal housing opportunities, and to promote the availability of decent affordable and accessible housing without regard to disability or any other basis.
Federal and New York State law provide that Ms. Echeverria and all persons have a right to be free from discrimination based on disability. The discriminatory actions of defendants are alleged as violations of 42 U.S.C. §§3604(d) & (f), 3617, including but not limited to, (§818 of the “Fair Housing Act”), New York State Constitution and related State and Suffolk County anti-discrimination laws.
With the help and support of LIHS, Ms. Echeverria was able to document and confirm the discriminatory actions taken against her because of her suffering from dwarfism and other conditions and serious medical needs. Despite being fully informed, each of the Defendants refused to provide accommodations to Ms. Echeverria, including, but not limited to her maintaining a companion dog which was prescribed by her physician.
Along with their Attorney, Frederick K. Brewington, Esq., Barbara Echeverria and Michelle Santantonio. Executive Director of LIHS, will hold a press conference announcing the details and filing of this law suit on April 12, 2006 at 11:00 a.m. in the Nassau County Supreme Court Pressroom. There they will announce the specifics of their law suit and present a clear picture of the illegal and discriminatory acts committed by the Defendants.