MARIO EXPOSED A.D.A. VIOLATIONS & AVOIDED EVICTION – THANKS TO HELP FROM HIS LEGAL AID ATTORNEY
Mario is a disabled resident of a HUD subsidized multi-family unit. His unit was advertised as an “ADA” unit, one of four in the complex. In fact, the unit violated numerous ADA standards. For example, Mario’s kitchen was 39 inches wide, and his wheelchair was 36 inches wide. Mario was forced to maneuver along the 7 foot long kitchen with no turning or angling room whatsoever, and to manipulate the doors of the refrigerator and stove without being able to access them directly from the front.
In his attempt to use the kitchen, Mario put several small scratches on the appliances. The landlord first gave Mario some appliance touch-up paint, which Mario applied to the appliances. Then, the landlord determined that, because of the scratches, the appliances needed to be completely replaced, and sent Mario a bill for nearly $1,000.00. When Mario didn’t pay the bill (he was an SSI recipient), the landlord filed an eviction action.
Mario turned to Legal Aid for help. His Legal Aid attorney filed an answer and affirmative defenses, raising the issues of violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act, as well as the Rehabilitation Act of 1973. After discovery was commenced by Legal Aid, the landlord dismissed its eviction action and allowed Mario to continue to live in his apartment.
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