On March 30 2021, Relman Colfax filed a disability rights lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of New York, against Clover Group Inc. and its affiliate companies on behalf of three seniors with disabilities and five fair housing organizations.
Named Plaintiffs include three senior residents of Camillus Pointe, a property owned by Clover Communities Camillus LLC, just outside of Syracuse, New York: Phyllis Bartoszewski, Lois Harter, and Deanna Town; and five fair housing organizations in New York, Pennsylvania, and Ohio: CNY Fair Housing, Fair Housing Partnership of Greater Pittsburgh, Fair Housing Center for Rights & Research of Cleveland, Housing Opportunities Made Equal of Buffalo, and Housing Opportunities Made Equal of Cincinnati. Defendants include Clover Group Inc., Clover Group New York LLC, Welltower Inc., WellClover Holdings LLC, Clover Management, Inc., and corporate owners of sixteen Clover properties located in three states.
The lawsuit alleges that defendants – who own more than forty (40) senior properties across New York, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Indiana, Kentucky, and Missouri – have illegally denied reasonable accommodations requested by residents with disabilities, charged impermissible fees and required unreasonable medical documentation in support of such requests. In particular, senior residents have, because of mobility-limiting disabilities, sought designated and/or accessible parking spaces near their apartment units. In addition, the complaint alleges that defendants routinely impose surcharges on units that are located on the first floor, close to the elevator, or that have accessible features like a grab bar.
On March 22, 2022, Relman Colfax filed a related lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of New York, against Clover Construction Management, Inc. and related entities, on behalf of seven fair housing organizations.
Plaintiffs are CNY Fair Housing, Housing Opportunities Made Equal of Buffalo, Fair Housing Center for Rights &Research of Cleveland, The Fair Housing Center of Toledo, Housing Opportunities Made Equal of Greater Cincinnati, Fair Housing Center of Central Indiana, and the Fair Housing Partnership of Greater Pittsburgh. Defendants include developers, architects, and corporate owners of Clover senior living properties in four states.
The lawsuit alleges that defendants failed to design and construct housing that is accessible to persons with disabilities, in violation of fair housing laws. Specifically, plaintiffs uncovered widespread and flagrant violations of the Fair Housing Act’s accessibility requirements at thirty-eight senior properties owned or developed by defendants in New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Indiana. All properties are advertised as “Senior Apartment Communities” for individuals over the age of 55 and as “fully handicap accessible.” The accessibility violations include inaccessible parking spaces, inaccessible mailboxes, inaccessible bathrooms, and inaccessible routes within units and to common areas.
The Relman Colfax case team includes Sara Pratt, Reed Colfax, and Soohyun Choi, with paralegal assistance from Brianna Terrell and Reed Canaan. The Relman Colfax case team is co-counseling with CNY Fair Housing, Inc.
Case citation: 5:21-cv-00361-BKS-ML (Clover I); 5:22-cv-00278-GTS-ATB (Clover II)