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Covenant Retirement Communities Inc.

Washington, DC: (Aug-23-07) The Department of Justice brought a lawsuit against Chicago-based Covenant Retirement Communities Inc. and its subsidiaries, alleging that the nationwide provider of retirement housing violated the Fair Housing Act by discriminating against residents based on disability. The suit claimed that the defendants employed policies that required residents who used motorized mobility aids (e.g., canes, walkers, wheelchairs and scooters) to obtain personal liability insurance, demonstrate their competence at operating the motorized aid, and provide physicians' certifications of need. The defendants also barred residents and visitors from using mobility aids in certain common areas, including dining rooms, and steered persons with mobility impairments from independent living to assisted living.

The defendants named in the suit included Covenant Village of Turlock, Turlock, Cal.; Mount Miguel Covenant Village, Spring Valley, Cal.; The Samarkand, Santa Barbara, Cal.; Covenant Village of Colorado, Westminster, Colo.; Covenant Village of Golden Valley, Golden Valley, Minn.; Covenant Shores, Mercer Island, Wash.; Covenant Village of Cromwell, Cromwell, Conn.; Covenant Village of Florida, Plantation, Fla.; Covenant Village of the Great Lakes, Grand Rapids, Mich.; Covenant Village of Northbrook, Northbrook, Ill.; The Holmstad, Batavia, Ill.; Windsor Park Manor, Carol Stream, Ill.; Bethany Covenant Village, Minneapolis, Minn.; Covenant Home of Chicago, Chicago, Ill.; and Irvington Village, Portland, Ore.

A settlement reached, which must be approved by the US District Court for the Eastern District of California, dismantles those policies and calls for employee training, a nondiscrimination policy, record keeping, and monitoring. Additionally, defendants will establish a $530,000 settlement fund for persons who may have been injured by their policies and pay each resident who was tested $250 as compensation. [EARTH TIMES: DISABILITY DISCRIMINATION]


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Published on Aug-26-07


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