On July 25, 2018, Relman, Dane & Colfax filed a lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Missouri against Friendship Village Sunset Hills, a senior living community in St. Louis County, and its parent company, FV Services, Inc. The lawsuit was filed on behalf of Mary Walsh and Bev Nance, a married lesbian couple, who were denied housing at Friendship Village because they are a same-sex couple.
The lawsuit alleges that Friendship Village violated the federal Fair Housing Act by discriminating against Walsh and Nance on the basis of sex. Walsh and Nance seek a declaratory judgment that Friendship Village's policy violates federal and state fair housing laws, compensatory and punitive damages, and a permanent injunction against further enforcement of the policy.
On January 16, 2019, the federal district court dismissed Plaintiffs' claims. Plaintiffs are appealing the decision.
The Relman, Dane & Colfax litigation team includes Michael Allen, Joseph Wardenski, and Angela Groves. The firm is co-counseling with Julie Wilensky and Amy Whelan at the National Center for Lesbian Rights, Anthony Rothert and Jessie Steffan at the ACLU of Missouri, and St. Louis attorney Arlene Zarembka.
Walsh v. Friendship Village of South County, No. 4:18-cv-1222 (E.D. Mo.); No. 19-1395 (8th Cir.)
News & Updates
In the Media
- New York Times, 08.17.2018
- McKnight's Senior Living, 07.27.2018
- St. Louis Post-Dispatch, 07.26.2018