Handley Farah & Anderson PLLC has obtained an order awarding punitive, compensatory, and statutory damages as well as injunctive relief in its case against Apartment Investment and Management Company (AIMCO) and Rhode Island 15, LP d/b/a Latrobe Apartment Homes (Latrobe). The Court found that AIMCO and Latrobe had violated the D.C. Human Rights Act and the D.C. Consumer Protection Procedures Act by illegally discriminating against Tiana Martin. Specifically, AIMCO and Latrobe informed Ms. Martin that they did not accept housing vouchers, and also maintained a statement on their website that they did not accept housing vouchers. However, such statements and practices violate source of income discrimination protections in Washington, D.C.
Over Defendants’ objections, HFA argued that Defendants should have to pay punitive, compensatory, and statutory damages, and that an injunction against further wrongdoing was necessary to prevent future discrimination against voucher holders. The Court Agreed that, in addition to compensatory and statutory damages, punitive damages and injunctive relief were warranted. The Court found that injunctive relief was appropriate because of defendants “recurring violations . . . including violations after the defendants had notice of their unlawful activity.” The Court also found punitive damages appropriate because the defendants “acted in willful disregard for the rights of the plaintiff.” The Court further explained that Defendants’ “egregious wrongdoing” justified an award of punitive damages.
A copy of the decision can be found here.