UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
NORTHERN DISTRICT OF ILLINOIS
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA,
Civil Action No. 00C 2295
THE BIGELOW GROUP, INC
The United States of America alleges:
- This action is brought by the United States to enforce
the Fair Housing Act, Title VIII of the Civil Rights Act of 1968,
as amended by the Fair Housing Amendments Act of 1988 (Fair
Housing Act), 42 U.S.C. §§ 3601-3619.
- This court has jurisdiction over this action under
28 U.S.C. § 1345 and 42 U.S.C. § 3614(a).
- Summer Wind is a residential dwelling complex located
at 1302 Oak Street, North Aurora, Illinois. Summer Wind is
comprised of 286 townhomes. All of the units at Summer Wind were
designed and constructed after March 13, 1991.
- Defendant Bigelow Group, Inc. (Bigelow) is an Illinois
corporation whose principal place of business is located in the
Northern District of Illinois. Defendant Bigelow is responsible
for the design, development, construction, and sale of
residential dwellings at Summer Wind.
- The 286 townhomes are "dwellings" within the meaning of
42 U.S.C. § 3602(b). There are five ranch style townhome models.
Two of the five models, the "Forsyth" and the "Astoria," are
"covered multi-family dwellings" within the meaning of 42 U.S.C.
§ 3604(f)(7)(A). The two "covered" ranch style townhomes are
scattered amongst the "non-covered" units in clusters of five or
more units throughout the complex.
- The "Forsyth" and "Astoria" models are subject to the
accessibility requirements of 42 U.S.C. § 3604(f)(3)(C).
- Defendants have violated 42 U.S.C. § 3604(f)(3)(C) by
failing to design and construct these dwellings in such a manner
that: (a) the public use and common use portions of such
dwellings are readily accessible to and usable by individuals
with disabilities; (b) all doors are sufficiently wide to allow
passage by persons who use wheelchairs; and (c) all premises
within such dwellings contain: (i) an accessible route into and
through the dwelling; and (ii) reinforcements in the bathroom
walls to allow later installation of grab bars; (d) the light
switches, electrical outlets, and environmental controls are at
an accessible height.
- Defendants, through actions referred to in paragraph 7,
- Discriminated in the sale, or otherwise made
unavailable or denied, dwellings to buyers because
of handicap, in violation of 42 U.S.C. § 3604(f)(1); and
- Failed to design and construct dwellings in
compliance with the accessibility and adaptability
features mandated by 42 U.S.C. § 3604 (f)(3)(C).
- The conduct of defendants described above constitutes:
- A pattern or practice of resistance to the full
enjoyment of rights granted by the Fair Housing
Act, 42 U.S.C. §§ 3601-3619; and
- A denial to a group of persons of rights granted
by the Fair Housing Act, 42 U.S.C. §§ 3601-3619,
which denial raises an issue of general public
- Persons who may have been the victims of defendants'
discriminatory housing practices are aggrieved persons as defined
in 42 U.S.C. § 3602(i) and may have suffered injuries as a result
of defendants' conduct described above.
- Defendants' conduct described above was intentional,
willful, and taken in disregard for the rights of others.
WHEREFORE, the United States prays that the court enter an
- Declares that defendants' policies and practices, as
alleged herein, violate the Fair Housing Act;
- Enjoins defendants, their officers, employees, agents,
successors and all other persons in active concert or
participation with any of them, from:
- Failing or refusing to bring the dwelling units
and public use and common use areas at Summer Wind
into compliance with 42 U.S.C. § 3604(f)(3)(C);
- Failing or refusing to take such affirmative steps as may be necessary to restore, as nearly as
practicable, the victims of defendants' unlawful
practices to the position they would have been in
but for the discriminatory conduct; and
- Designing or constructing any covered multi-family
dwellings in the future that do not contain the
accessibility and adaptability features set forth
in 42 U.S.C. § 3604(f)(3)(C);
- Awards such damages as would fully compensate each per-son aggrieved by defendants' discriminatory housing practices for
their injuries resulting from defendants' discriminatory conduct,
pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 3614(d)(1)(B);
- Assesses a civil penalty against each defendant as
authorized by 42 U.S.C. § 3614(d)(1)(C), in order to vindicate
the public interest.
The United States further prays for such additional relief
as the interests of justice may require.
Bill Lann Lee
Acting Assistant Attorney General
Civil Rights Division
Joan A. Magagna
Chief, Housing and Civil Enforcement Section
Brian F. Heffernan
Sunny E. Pietrafesa, Attorney
United States Department of Justice
Civil Rights Division
Housing and Civil Enforcement Section
P.O. Box 65998
Washington, D.C. 20035-5998
Scott R. Lassar
United States Attorney
Joan C. Laser
Assistant United States Attorney
219 S. Dearborn Street
Chicago, Illinois 60604