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Subject: Yea Doug! Way to go, guy!
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Author Messages
GeorgerwilliamsW
(Indiana)

Posts:975


09/13/2008 2:16 AM  
Man Wins Suit Against HOA Over Handicap Parking Spot

    Doug took the HOA to court, eventually settling for $150,000. It was the largest award for discrimination in U.S. history for removing a handicap parking space.

    "This hopefully will save others. There's always going to need to be somebody, that's willing to pick things up and go against folks that are doing things wrong," said Doug.


http://www.10news.com/news/17443323/detail.html
CharlesH9
(Michigan)

Posts:123


09/13/2008 4:24 AM  
If you go to the HUD website and click on Fair Housing there are charges posted against HOA etc. a few times a month. There are a few for single family detached but I don't think most people realize that they full under the FHA. So I will ditto your sentiment WAY TO GO DOUG!!! This is what's happening in our association, someone standing up for what is right even though not popular.
KirkW1
(Texas)

Posts:1665


09/13/2008 7:31 AM  
I am glad to see the association punished. I just hope that the people in the association will wise up and elect someone with some sense who won't lead the association into more financial ruin. Lets face it, this will result in a special assesment. And unfortunatly many of Doug's neighbors will look at him with disdain instead of directing their anger where it belongs.

I believe that if I were in his shoes I would then negotiate with the association. I would donate back the award minus my expenses on the following conditions:
  • A written apology admitting guilt and culpability

  • Replace every Board member who voted against the accommodation

  • Change the rules to reflect that reasonable accommodation is expected.

  • Possibly other items along the same lines.

I guess a lot of this is because I do realize that many would not be in favor of the discrimination. And it isn't like you simply move your house when the Board is full of stupid people.
GeorgerwilliamsW
(Indiana)

Posts:975


09/13/2008 8:04 AM  
Here is a bit more about the situation (also see the attached press release):
    The DFEH filed the lawsuit on behalf of Douglas Vose, a former Lakeshore Villas resident who suffers from a rare terminal illness.

    Despite knowing that Mr. Vose requires a wheelchair to move about, the HOA board president allegedly ordered the wooden ramp removed after noticing an out-of-state expired handicap placard in Mr. Vose’s van. The complaint also alleges an agent of the HOA board warned Mr. Vose his van could be towed if he continued to park in a handicap space, even though Mr. Vose had told the agent he was going to the Veterans Administration to obtain a new placard.

    According to the department, the HOA also failed to actually assign a handicap parking space to Mr. Vose. Further, the parking spaces the HOA designated “handicapped” were alleged to be nothing more than standard narrow spaces outlined with different color paint.

    As part of the out-of-court settlement, the HOA members agreed to undergo fair housing training, adopt a reasonable accommodation policy, and make all
    necessary modifications to the parking lot after conducting an Americans with Disabilities Act accessibility review. In settling the case, the HOA did not admit to any liability.


Attachment: 191343362571.pdf

MicheleD
(Kentucky)

Posts:4491


09/13/2008 9:01 AM  
Posted By KirkW1 on 09/13/2008 7:31 AM
I am glad to see the association punished. I just hope that the people in the association will wise up and elect someone with some sense who won't lead the association into more financial ruin. Lets face it, this will result in a special assesment. And unfortunatly many of Doug's neighbors will look at him with disdain instead of directing their anger where it belongs.

I believe that if I were in his shoes I would then negotiate with the association. I would donate back the award minus my expenses on the following conditions:
  • A written apology admitting guilt and culpability

  • Replace every Board member who voted against the accommodation

  • Change the rules to reflect that reasonable accommodation is expected.

  • Possibly other items along the same lines.

I guess a lot of this is because I do realize that many would not be in favor of the discrimination. And it isn't like you simply move your house when the Board is full of stupid people.




I like the way you think . . .
FrancescaM
(Washington)

Posts:264


09/13/2008 9:13 AM  
Posted By KirkW1 on 09/13/2008 7:31 AM
I am glad to see the association punished. I just hope that the people in the association will wise up and elect someone with some sense who won't lead the association into more financial ruin. Lets face it, this will result in a special assesment. And unfortunatly many of Doug's neighbors will look at him with disdain instead of directing their anger where it belongs.

I believe that if I were in his shoes I would then negotiate with the association. I would donate back the award minus my expenses on the following conditions:
  • A written apology admitting guilt and culpability

  • Replace every Board member who voted against the accommodation

  • Change the rules to reflect that reasonable accommodation is expected.

  • Possibly other items along the same lines.

I guess a lot of this is because I do realize that many would not be in favor of the discrimination. And it isn't like you simply move your house when the Board is full of stupid people.



I like the way you think, but I say let the HOA lose thier money. It makes more of a statement if it hurts financially. Not to be anything but on the man who wons side. He deserves this, he has limited time to live and knowing he did something for others who are in his spot will make things feel complete..

The HOA is already shamed by having be noted in the newspaper!
KirkW1
(Texas)

Posts:1665


09/13/2008 2:55 PM  
You talk as if the HOA is some identity in and of itself. It is not, it is the man's neighbors. While this man can certainly afford the special assessment that will be coming, his neighbors may not.

This is why if I were there I would then look for another negotiation. The BOD is replaced with people that will be more neighborly. To be honest, I would be looking for recall for the BOD if I lived there. They could have negotiated a lower amount if they admitted guilt.

In many cases there is a reason a corporation does not admit guilt. But those are cases where others are likely to file a similar suit in the future. And admission of guilt once will potentially hurt the defense in another case. Particularly if the issue is something that was wide spread.

In this case you had a single person who was discriminated against.

Note that I don't feel the disabled owner is under any obligation to not take the money. And I am sure that he can find a good use for the money. But I personally would agree to give it up if conditions were right. And those conditions would be things to prevent future problems (and admission of guilt).

Admission of guilt is a huge benefit to bringing healing to the community.
DJ1
(Ontario)

Posts:798


09/13/2008 3:21 PM  
I kind of agreed initially till I gave it some thought. Doug's neighbours COULD have replaced the board LONG ago and then settled but didn't so my initial sympathy ended. There was probably the usual HO apathy. Don't know if that apathy will remain once they get hit with a Special assessment!
CharlesH9
(Michigan)

Posts:123


09/13/2008 7:26 PM  
Isn't that what D & O insurance is for, lawsuits?? I would imagine they have 1M in coverage isn't that standard or the low end? I would think the neighbors are paying anything but possibly higher insurance rates next year.
KirkW1
(Texas)

Posts:1665


09/13/2008 7:50 PM  
DJ1,

It seems pretty common that BODs do not inform the membership of legal troubles. As such, I would not assume that the membership had any knowledge. In fact, it would appear that some keep the thing hidden even during annual meetings. But if I believed the owners knew, then I wouldn't be inclined to forgive.

Charles,

D&O is to protect the officers from suits brought by the owners accusing them of wrong doing. It doesn't protect the association from suits such as this. Now if an owner sues, that is when D&O comes into play. Though even at that, the protection is not iron clad. It will not cover acts in which one knowingly violates the law. It also only covers what a reasonable person might have done.
DJ1
(Ontario)

Posts:798


09/13/2008 9:00 PM  
Kirk the BOD may not have told members about the lawsuit but it probably made the media long before the court ever ruled, and while it is speculation, word in a neighbourhood of something like this usually spreads quickly.
KirkW1
(Texas)

Posts:1665


09/14/2008 3:38 AM  
Actually, most government officials frown upon media attention before their case has been heard. In fact, many DAs will find a way out once it is broadcast. They don't want to take a chance of losing. Now since it was settled out of court, it could be that is what brought the settlement about.

The truth is that media seldom (if ever) presents a fair or accurate depiction. Also, the sympathy often causes the disabled person to get so much they lose their desire to fight.

In this area a woman was keeping a pony that she rode to work in her apartment. City officials intervened as the apartment reeked with feces and urine. She insisted on not keeping her horse outside but inside. And you know a group got together and got her another place to live with the horse inside? All because she was a poor picked upon blind person. That is just not conducive to court cases.
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