On April 1, 2024, Relman Colfax filed a Complaint in Intervention against UDR, Inc., joining a lawsuit filed by the D.C. Office of the Attorney General, based on horrifying incidents of racial and sexual harassment against Black women residents at Waterside Towers in Washington, D.C. The lawsuit is brought on behalf of two Black women, Ms. G. and Ms. M., and alleges that UDR, with knowledge of the campaign of harassment perpetrated by a white resident toward the women, failed to take prompt action to correct and end the harassment.

As alleged in the Complaint in Intervention, the two women, who were residents at Waterside Towers, were subjected to a sustained and escalating campaign of harassment and intimidation because of their race and sex. UDR owns and operates Waterside Towers.

Both women were physically and emotionally harassed and UDR took no action, despite reports made to UDR and its employees, employees’ witnessing of harassment, and police reports.  The harassing behavior included explicit racial and sexual insults and threatening behavior, including driving a car at a high rate of speed toward one of the women and spitting at her during the pandemic. 

The women, assisted by the Equal Rights Center, a fair housing organization serving the D.C. area, filed administrative complaints with the D.C. Office of Human Rights, which investigated and issued findings of discrimination against UDR. An action was brought by the D.C. Office of the Attorney General on behalf of the Office of Human Rights earlier this year and Relman Colfax has now filed a Complaint in Intervention against UDR in that case.

The Complaint in Intervention alleges that UDR was responsible because it failed to address and halt the harassing behavior, which created a hostile housing environment. It further alleges that UDR discriminated based on race and sex, made housing unavailable, subjected the Ms. G and Ms. M to unequal terms and conditions of housing, and interfered with their rights under the Fair Housing Act and the D.C. Human Rights Act.  The women seek injunctive relief, damages, and attorneys’ fees against UDR.

The harasser was charged and found guilty of a hate crime, bias-related assault, in February 2023 as a result of his behavior.

The Relman Colfax litigation team consists of Yiyang Wu, Lila Miller, Sara Pratt, and David DePriest, with paralegal assistance from Jazmin Trenco.

The Complaint in Intervention is here.

A related story is here. https://www.justice.gov/usao-dc/pr/district-man-found-guilty-bias-related-assault-african-american-woman#:~:text=Iskrenov%20drove%20his%20SUV%20up,glasses%20and%20in%20her%20hair.

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