McCollum Obtains Civil Rights Settlement for Central Florida Couple

TALLAHASSEE, FL – September 10, 2009 – (RealEstateRama) — Attorney General Bill McCollum today announced that his office has obtained a settlement for a Central Florida couple resolving allegations of civil rights violations related to their condominium. Under the settlement, Brevard County developer Tricon Development Corporation paid $15,000 in civil damages to Josephine and Dominic DeRusso, which included the cost of retrofitting the couple’s home.

The Attorney General’s Office of Civil Rights filed a lawsuit against Tricon on behalf of the DeRussos in January 2005. The lawsuit alleged that Tricon had failed to meet the Florida Fair Housing Act’s accessibility standards when it developed the DeRusso’s condominium in Indiatlantic, Florida. Mrs. DeRusso is disabled and needed her home and certain common areas made accessible. The DeRussos asked the Attorney General to file the lawsuit to enforce the provisions of the Fair Housing Act following an investigation and reasonable cause determination by the Florida Commission on Human Relations.

In addition to paying civil damages to the DeRussos and retrofitting their home, Tricon will make several modifications to the common areas at Topaz Oceanfront Condominium. The modifications include installing grab bars in the appropriate locations at the pool area and adapting the threshold at a door connecting the pool area and the pool restrooms. The modifications must be completed within 90 days of August 24, 2009, the date the settlement was signed by all parties.

Contact:
Sandi Copes
Phone: (850) 245-0150

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