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Adam Leitman Bailey, P.C. Achieves Winning Settlement on Behalf of Co-op Sellers in Landmark Housing Discrimination Case

In a case of first impression, Adam Leitman Bailey, P.C. successfully represented the sellers of a cooperative apartment in a housing discrimination suit against their former co-op arising from the co-op’s failure to consent to a proposed sale of the apartment to elderly purchasers. When the co-op failed to approve the sale, despite the purchasers’ ample financial qualifications, the plaintiffs incurred damages because they were forced to find a new purchaser after the financial crisis struck and market conditions deteriorated. Advocating a novel legal theory on behalf of its clients, Adam Leitman Bailey, P.C. persuaded both trial and appellate courts to apply state and federal housing discrimination laws for the benefit of the sellers of the co-op unit, even though the prospective buyers were the parties denied housing.

Adam Leitman Bailey, P.C. defeated the co-op’s motion to dismiss the case and obtained an affirmance of that result on appeal. The courts held that the plaintiff-sellers had standing to sue and stated a valid cause of action under the New York State Human Rights Law for damages resulting from age discrimination directed toward the prospective purchasers. The appellate court affirmed and further held that the plaintiffs had standing to sue under the Federal Fair Housing Act for damages resulting from nationality discrimination directed toward one of the two sellers.

Adam Leitman Bailey, P.C. obtained documents and elicited testimony intended to demonstrate that the co-op’s proffered reason for rejecting the purchasers – purportedly a house policy requiring that apartments be used as a primary residence – was merely a pretext for the co-op’s discriminatory purposes. The case settled after the conclusion of discovery and prior to trial.

Adam Leitman Bailey, P.C. attorneys Adam Leitman Bailey, John M. Desiderio, and Colin E. Kaufman represented the client at the trial level and Jeffrey R. Metz represented the client on appeal. Adam Leitman Bailey participated in the settlement negotiations that settled the case.

Read the Published Decision Here

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