On June 23, 2015, the U.S. District Court for the District of Connecticut denied a motion to dismiss discrimination claims filed against American Empire Surplus Lines Insurance Company by two landlords and the Connecticut Fair Housing Center.

The case alleges violations of Connecticut state law based on “source of income,” and violations of both Connecticut state law and the federal Fair Housing Act based on a “disparate impact” theory of liability. The defendant, a surplus lines insurer operating in Connecticut, allegedly restricts the availability of property/casualty insurance to landlords based on their renting to “Section 8” tenants.

The court addressed issues raised in the motion to dismiss, including coverage of insurance under Section 805 of the Fair Housing Act, deference to HUD regulations, and McCarran-Ferguson preemption.

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